Could we need a yearly COVID-19 vaccine like the flu shot?

NewsWorld News      Pfizer CEO says it’s ‘likely’ a THIRD vaccine jab will be needed for protection
       By Graham McGr

NewsWorld News Pfizer CEO says it’s ‘likely’ a THIRD vaccine jab will be needed for protection By Graham McGr

Even if that protection lasts far longer than six months, experts have said that rapidly spreading variants of the coronavirus and others that may emerge could lead to the need for regular booster shots similar to annual flu shots.

It's been a year since the first studies of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines began last March.

The CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, said there is a "likely scenario" where people who have had two Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses will need a third jab soon into the future.

People in the United States who received the Pfizer-BioNTech shot should expect the need for a booster dose at some point, he said.

"We believe especially people at high risk should get a boost in the fall, and we want to make sure we have the best possible boost", Bancel said.

Speaking in an interview on American television, Pfizer CEO, Albert Bourla, said that his company was now evaluating long-term vaccination needs, but that a third dose and annual revaccination were a "likely scenario".

Then there are "vaccines like flu that you need every year", Bourla said.

Pfizer: Annual Covid-19 booster shots may become new normal

And Bourla said Thursday the company was working on a new formula that would allow the vaccine to be stored for four to six months at a normal temperature, rather than the minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 Fahrenheit) or below now required.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov explained earlier this week that the vaccine's price was rising as sales were being negotiated, costing as much as 19.50 euros ($23), up from 12 euros.

Moderna, which developed its COVID-19 vaccine with scientists from NIAID, has also developed a new vaccine targeting this variant, and in early tests on animals, the animals generated strong neutralizing antibodies against the virus.

There were 32 cases of severe COVID-19 illness notes in the report, all of which were in the placebo group.

Among the most vulnerable population - residents 65 years and older - more than 70% have gotten a first dose, and more than 61% are fully vaccinated. "But as more and more people get vaccinated or naturally infected, the pace of the variant is going to slow down and the virus is going to stabilize as you see with flu".

Of 77 million people vaccinated in the United States, there have been 5,800 such breakthrough infections, Walensky said, including 396 people who required hospitalisation and 74 who died.

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