Fully vaccinated people will need a fourth shot later in 2022, according to the head of Pfizer Inc., who said that COVID-19 is not going to just go away in the coming years.
Albert Bourla told CBS News anchor Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation” that people are going to have to learn to live with the virus.
He said a fourth dose — that is, a second booster — is necessary “right now.”
“The protection that you are getting from the third, it is good enough, actually quite good for hospitalizations and deaths,” he said, according to a CBS News transcript. “It’s not that good against infections, but doesn’t last very long.”
A second booster has already been approved for some immunocompromised people.
Bourla said he expects a COVID booster to become an annual occurrence, much like the flu shot, and added that Pfizer is working on a vaccine that offers even better protection.
Pfizer PFE, 3.60% is currently working to make a vaccine that will protect against all variants, including omicron, “but also something that can protect for at least a year. And if we be able to achieve that, then I think it is very easy to follow and remember so that we can go back to really the way used to live,” he said.
Bourla is expecting data from trials of the vaccine in children below the age of 5 to be ready in April. If those prove successful and are authorized, the first shots in that age group could come in May.