Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla believes the omicron variant may prompt the necessity for a fourth COVID vaccine shot sooner than originally thought.
Bourla made the comments in an interview with CNBC.
“When we see real-world data, will determine if the omicron is well covered by the third dose and for how long,” he said. “And the second point, I think we will need a fourth dose.”
The Pfizer CEO had previously predicted the fourth shot wouldn’t be needed until a full year after the third. Omicron, the apparently mild variant, however, is changing the calculus.
“With omicron, we need to wait and see because we have very little information. We may need it faster,” he warned.
Bourla’s comments follow a Pfizer study which indicates two of their vaccine shots won’t stop people from getting infected with the omicron variant.
Boosters should, according to the study, prevent severe infections.
The study indicates that “two doses of BNT162b2 may not be sufficient to protect against infection with the Omicron variant.”
The news about yet another booster shot likely won’t do much to help what has been dubbed the “vaccine-hesitant” population. ‘Shots one and two don’t work, but three and four will definitely do the trick,’ isn’t likely to increase confidence.
Will they be saying next year, with the next variant, that three and four didn’t work, but five and six will definitely do the trick?
For now, Bourla says, “A third dose will give very good protection I believe.”
The same Pfizer study indicates their third shot provides a “more robust” antibody response to Omicron.
Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday warned that the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ is most certainly going to change at some point.
“It’s going to be a matter of when, not if,” he told CNN.
Fauci added that the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ isn’t “changing tomorrow or next week,” but he believes it’s “going to be considered literally on a daily basis.”
If Pfizer is warning that the third shot is necessary to provide adequate protection against omicron and the fourth is on the horizon, it’s difficult to imagine the new definition will be anything but a requirement of three or four shots.
For now, anyway.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has suggested Americans should go about their lives and ignore the health strategies being put forth by Dr. Fauci.
“Virtually none of the edicts or the promulgations that come from Fauci’s mouth are based in science at all,” Paul said.
“Let’s not live in fear because Dr. Fauci is promulgating things that are unscientific just to scare you,” he added. “If you’ve been vaccinated or if you’ve had the disease, live your life and ignore this man and let’s hope he can be gone as soon as possible.”
Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has said, “The disease [omicron variant] is mild.”
CDC officials report no deaths from omicron and only one hospitalization thus far.
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