(CMR) Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said people might need a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine within 12 months of getting fully vaccinated. He also said people might need to get vaccinated against the coronavirus annually.
“A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months, and then from there, there will be an annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed. And again, the variants will play a key role,” Bourla told CNBC in an interview.
Pfizer said its Covid-19 vaccine was more than 91% effective at protecting against the coronavirus and more than 95% effective against severe disease up to six months after the second dose.
This data was based on more than 12,000 vaccinated participants; however, researchers say more data is still needed to determine whether protection lasts after six months. Researchers still don’t know how long protection against the virus lasts once someone has been fully vaccinated.
Persons may also need to get booster shots to prevent breakthrough infections when people get infected with the coronavirus two weeks or more after their final vaccine dose. Experts have said people may still get the virus after being fully vaccinated as no vaccine is 100% protective against infection.
In the US, about 5,800 vaccinated people out of nearly 77 million who have been fully vaccinated have tested positive for the coronavirus, with some becoming “seriously ill,” and 74 have died, CNN reported. Meanwhile, 7 percent (396 people) who got infected after vaccination required hospitalization.