Pfizer CEO says 3rd shot of COVID-19 vaccine ‘likely’ needed after 6-12 months
The CEO of pharmaceutical company Pfizer says that a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot is looking more likely six to 12 months after patients receive their second dose of the vaccine.
"Likely scenario is there will be a likely need for a third dose somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there, there will be an annual re-vaccination,” CEO Albert Bourla says.
There are two major reasons why Pfizer is looking at the chance of a booster shot – COVID variants and the chance that the vaccine effectiveness will start to wear off.
“There’s also concern with waning immunity. Over time the antibodies may be less so that you need a booster dose to increase the antibody response to the virus,” says AlantiCare Regional Medical Center epidemiologist Gemma Downham.
Downham says that similar to the flu, COVID-19 is everchanging and mutating. The booster shot will be different from the first and second shots to enhance protection.
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“It’s important to make sure that the vaccines that we are getting outmatched to the variants that are predominately spreading,” Downham says.
Some New Jersey residents who were at one of the state’s vaccine megasites say that they will do what they can to protect themselves against the virus.
“If it’s going to make us go back to normal, then I’m down for it. No big deal,” says Meredith Battito, of Jamesburg.
“I personally have no problem with a third shot. I’d be willing to do it despite the inconvenience,” says Patrick Burke.
Moderna has said it is also studying the possibility of a booster shot, but that has not yet been determined.