People will likely need a third booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine within 12 months of being fully vaccinated, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on Thursday. The pharma giant is one the major manufacturers of the coronavirus vaccine.
In a televised interview with CNBC, Bourla also said that annual revaccination against COVID-19 could be a possibility.
“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.
Other experts have expressed similar sentiments as the role of new variants in the spread of the disease becomes more apparent. There are currently three significant variants and numerous more minor variants of the Novel Coronavirus in the world. The three significant variants are B.1.1.7 (the UK Variant), B.1.351 (the South Africa Variant), and P.1 (the Brazil Variant).
Pfizer’s vaccine remains one of the most effective against the coronavirus. According to the pharmaceutical giant, its vaccine is more than 91 percent effective and more than 95 percent effective up to 6 months after completing both doses of the vaccine. Pfizer's vaccine for teens is also 100 percent effective in protecting younger teens against the virus.
Moderna’s vaccine, which is also an mRNA vaccine, is similarly effective against the virus.
However, there is not enough data to conclusively say whether the protection lasts for more than six months.
Pfizer and BioNTech are currently conducting further trials to see the result of a third vaccine dose on long-term immunity and protection, especially from the new variants emerging in various parts of the world.