Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on Saturday that an annual Covid-19 vaccine would be preferable to more frequent booster shots to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Pfizer/BioNtech’s Covid-19 vaccine has been shown to be effective against severe illness and death from the heavily mutated omicron variant but less effective at preventing transmission.
With the number of cases soaring, some countries have expanded programs to boost Covid-19 vaccines or shorten the intervals between shots as governments scramble to increase protection.
In an interview with Israel’s N12 News, Bourla was asked if he sees booster shots performed as often as four to five months.
“This isn’t going to be a good scenario. What I hope (is) we’ll have a vaccine that you’re going to have to do once a year,” Bourla said.
“Once a year – it’s easier to convince people to do it. People are also easier to remember.
“So from a public health perspective, it’s an ideal situation. We’re looking to see if we can make a vaccine that includes Omicron and doesn’t forget the variables,” Bourla said. may be different or not and that may be a solution”.
Bourla said Pfizer could be ready to apply for approval of a redesigned vaccine against Omicron and into mass production, as soon as March.
Citing three studies, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday that a third dose of the mRNA vaccine is key to combating Omicron, providing 90% protection from hospitalization. .
A preliminary study published by Israel’s Sheba Medical Center on Monday found that the fourth shot increases antibodies to even higher levels than the third but is likely not enough to fight Omicron.
However, Sheba adds, a second booster is still recommended for at-risk groups.