DENVER (WFLA/KDVR) — Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla told CBNC’s Bertha Coombs Thursday that people will “likely” need to get a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccination within 12 months of being fully vaccinated.
“It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus,” Bourla told Coombs during an event with CVS Health.
Pfizer released data on April 1 showing that its mRNA vaccine is highly effective six months after the second dose.
The news comes following a similar statement made by White House chief advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci earlier this week who said people may need to get booster shots for the COVID vaccines in a year.
“We know for sure it’s effective for six months and highly likely that it will be effective for considerably longer period of time,” Fauci said.
Earlier this month, Pfizer said its COVID-19 vaccine was more than 91% effective at protecting against COVID-19 and more than 95% effective against severe disease up to six months after the second dose.
Pfizer and BioNTech are continuing to test a third dose of their COVID-19 vaccine to better understand the immune response against new variants of the virus.
“A lot of it is based on how fast the coronavirus mutates,” said Dr. Ross Kedl, a professor of immunology and microbiology at the University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine.
Scientists said altering the mRNA vaccines to attack the variants is not a difficult process and could take just a matter of days to adjust.
“It’s a very flexible format and that’s absolutely one of its powers,” Dr. Kedl said. “The speed with which you can modify it – it’s considerably faster.”