KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 14 – A fourth Covid-19 vaccine dose is “necessary” for most people, according to Pfizer chief executive Alberta Bourla.
During an interview on CBS’s “Face The Nation” on Sunday, Bourla said while protection from a third Covid-19 shot is “good enough” against hospitalisations and deaths, three doses are not as effective against infections and wane too quickly against variants like Omicron.
“It is necessary, a fourth (dose) for right now,” Bourla told CBS.
Pfizer and Moderna are working on shots that will protect against Omicron and other future variants. “What we are trying to do and we are working very diligently right now is to make not only a vaccine that will protect against all variants, including Omicron, but also something that can protect for at least a year,” Bourla said.
“And if we are 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 (we) used to live.”
The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended a fourth Covid vaccine dose for people aged 12 years and older who are either moderately or severely immunocompromised and who have taken three doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
However, it is not clear if or when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will authorise a fourth Covid-19 vaccine dose for healthy adolescents and adults.
“We are just submitting those data to the FDA, and then we’ll see what the experts also would say outside Pfizer,” Bourla said.
Bourla was earlier quoted by NBC News that Pfizer’s scientists are now seeing protection from the initial booster shot begin to wane against Omicron after three or four months, meaning a fourth dose may be needed.
Countries such as Chile, Israel, and Sweden already allow for a fourth vaccine dose for certain vulnerable segments of their populations.