Americas, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Pfizer CEO says booster shot 'likely' needed in 1 year

'It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus,' says Albert Bourla

Michael Hernandez   | 15.04.2021
Pfizer CEO says booster shot 'likely' needed in 1 year

WASHINGTON

People who have been vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine will "likely" need to receive a booster shot within 12 months of being fully vaccinated in order to maintain their protection, Pfizer's CEO said on Thursday.

“It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus," Albert Bourla told CNBC.

Both Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines require two separate doses spread weeks apart, and an individual is not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after their second dose.

Annual shots for COVID-19 akin to those for flu vaccines had been widely expected, in part because highly contagious variants continue to proliferate worldwide.

It is unclear how long protection currently lasts from any of the vaccines in circulation, and researchers are continuing to test their longevity.

The US is currently rolling out vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna after health authorities called for an immediate pause on administering Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine following reports of potentially fatal blood clots.

So far, about a quarter of the US population has been fully vaccinated while nearly 40% have received at least one vaccine dose, according to CDC data.

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