Pfizer CEO says 2nd COVID-19 booster needed

Albert Bourla, PhD, CEO of Pfizer, said a second booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine is necessary for protection against infection, according to a March 13 interview with CBS News

 Dr. Bourla said the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine provides protection from hospitalization and death, but "it's not that good against infections" and the protection is relatively short-lived. Pfizer is preparing data for the FDA about the need for a fourth dose. 

"Many variants are coming," Dr. Bourla told CBS. "And omicron was the first one that was able to evade in a skillful way the immune protection that we were giving. But also, in all that the duration of the protection, it doesn't last very long.” 

The CDC recommends people receive a booster shot five months after receiving their second shot of either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine or two months after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In February, the CDC published a study showing the efficacy of booster shots of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines waned after about four months, but still provided significant protection from hospitalizations during the omicron surge.

Dr. Bourla also told CNBC that Pfizer is developing a vaccine that will protect against all COVID-19 variants, including omicron, for at least a year. He expects to review data from trials on the long-term vaccine by the end of the month. 

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