Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on Sunday that a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be necessary to continue to help keep hospitalizations manageable and sicknesses more mild.
“Right now, the way that we have seen, it is necessary, a fourth booster right now. The protection that you are getting from the third, it is good enough, actually quite good for hospitalizations and deaths,” Bourla said while appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“It’s not that good against infections but doesn’t last very long. But we are just submitting those data to the FDA [Food and Drug Administration], and then we will see what the experts also will say outside Pfizer,” he added.
In August, the FDA fully approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for people at least 16 years old or older. A third dose of Pfizer’s vaccine has been granted emergency use authorization.
Bourla told CNBC on Saturday of his company’s plans to submit data for a fourth COVID-19 dose.
“It’s clear that there is a need in an environment of omicron to boost the immune response,” he said while appearing on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
Countries including Israel, Chile and Germany have already begun recommending fourth COVID-19 doses for high-risk groups.
“Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan asked Bourla if he expects to be able to avoid the same confusion over booster shots that came about when the third vaccine dose was being deployed.
“I think so. And I think right now we need to be very well coordinated, CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], FDA and the industry so that we are all providing to the American people and to the world a cohesive picture rather than confusion,” he said.
During his interview on Sunday, Bourla reiterated his company’s goal of creating a vaccine effective against all variants of COVID-19 for longer periods of time.
“We are working very diligently right now … 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,” he said. “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.”