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Pfizer CEO: ‘I Think We Will Need the Fourth Dose’ of COVID-19 Vaccine

    Jack Phillips – December 9, 2021 Updated: December 9, 2021

    Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla (R) is seen speaking as U.S. President Joe Biden listens, in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, on June 10, 2021. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

    Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said during a Wednesday interview that he believes a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will likely need to be required amid concerns over the Omicron variant.

    “I think we will need the fourth dose. I’ve said that multiple times. With the previous, I was projecting that that will be on 12 months after the third dose,” said Bourla.

    With the newly named Omicron variant, “We need to wait and see because we have very little information. We may need it faster,” he told CNBC.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending a third booster shot for all eligible Americans 18 years old and older. On Thursday, both the CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the emergency use authorization to provide booster doses to 16- and 17-year-olds.

    The health agencies are recommending that booster shots be administered after a full vaccination regimen, which includes two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer shots. Those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot are asked to receive the booster two months after it is administered, according to the agencies.

    Bourla’s comments came a few days after Dr. Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization’s emergency director, questioned the logic of several countries trying to produce more booster doses to vaccinate anyone aged 18 and older.

    “Right now, there is no evidence that I’m aware of that would suggest that boosting the entire population is going to necessarily provide any greater protection for otherwise healthy individuals against hospitalization and death,” Ryan said.

    Already, some officials in the United States, including the governors of New Mexico and Connecticut, have proclaimed that one cannot be considered fully vaccinated unless they’ve obtained the booster dose. Several months ago, Israeli authorities mandated receiving the booster dose as a condition to keep using the country’s vaccine passport—known as a “green pass”—to enter businesses deemed nonessential.

    “The real risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death lies, in particular, in at-risk and vulnerable individuals,” he continued, “who do require protection against all variants of COVID-19,” the illness caused by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus.

    As of Thursday, no deaths have been associated with the latest COVID-19 variant anywhere in the world. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, about 1,500 Omicron cases have been reported worldwide as of Dec. 8.

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