(NewsNation) – While the world is finally coming out of a winter stretch dominated by the highly contagious omicron variant, recommendations for a fourth COVID-19 booster are being discussed.
Across the country, there are far more smiling faces to be seen as the masks are turned off because COVID-19 infections have dropped drastically. But it may take another shot to keep it that way.
Since new variants are likely, there are new indications that the new normal will include regular booster shots.
Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla indicated Sunday that a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be needed to continue to help keep hospitalizations manageable and diseases more mild.
“Right now, as we have seen, a fourth booster is needed right now,” he said. “The protection we get from the third, it’s good enough, actually quite good for hospitalizations and deaths. It’s not so good against infections, but does not last very long.”
Bourla appeared on CBS ‘”Face the Nation”, saying that data supporting a fourth shot has been submitted to the Food and Drug Administration.
And the company is working hard to develop a more potent version for year-round protection.
The CEO of Moderna has also indicated that a fourth shot may be needed due to declining power.
On it two years anniversary of the start of the pandemicmany people are ready and willing to go after number four.
“I do not want to get sick. I do not want to get COVID,” said Melinda Oldham, who is fully vaccinated and boosted. “If they say so, I will. I’m inclined. It’s very scary for me. “
Data indicate that protection against the current booster decreases after about four months.
But compliance may also need a boost.
According to the CDC, while more than 75% of Americans received a first shot, 10 percent fewer continued to be fully vaccinated with two shots. And only 47% of that population is boosted.
Ryan Wald is among those who skipped a third shot over.
“I actually got COVID on December 23rd,” said Wald, who is fully vaccinated but not boosted. “And the next day I went surfing. So I just did not feel that it was something I had to do. ”
With pandemic fatigue and effective therapies out now, many are still on the fence around the third shot.
Joe Hara, who is fully vaccinated but not boosted, said “the first two kinds knocked me on my butt so I was not in a hurry to get one more.”
It is not clear when the FDA can approve a fourth dose for healthy adults.
The rate of infection in the United States is declining, but cases are still emerging. Former President Barack Obama said Sunday that he had tested positive for coronavirus.
Obama called on more Americans to be vaccinated against coronavirus,
There were about 35,000 infections on average over the past week, a sharp drop from mid-January, when the average was closer to 800,000.
Israel, Chile and Germany have already started recommending fourth doses of COVID-19 to high-risk groups.
The Hill and the Associated Press contributed to this report.