Fourth dose Covid-19 vaccine needed, according to Pfizer CEO
Fourth dose Covid-19 vaccine needed, according to Pfizer CEO

Fourth dose Covid-19 vaccine needed, according to Pfizer CEO

The company is working on a shot to handle all varieties

Originally Posted: 13 MAR 22 15:11 ET

By Jen Christensen and Holly Yan, CNN

(CNN) – To help ward off another wave of Covid-19, people will need a fourth-dose vaccine, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CBS on Sunday.

“Many variants are coming, and Omicron was the first to be able to evade – in a skillful way – the immune protection we provide,” Bourla told CBS ‘”Face the Nation.”

“The protection we get from the third (dose) is good enough – in fact, quite good for hospitalizations and deaths,” Bourla said.

But protection after three doses is “not so good against infections” and “does not last very long” when faced with a variant like Omicron.

“A fourth (dose) is needed right now,” Bourla told CBS.

Currently, all aged 12 and over who received a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least five months ago may receive a third dose.

Anyone aged 18 and over who received the Moderna vaccine with two doses should receive a booster shot six months after the second dose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And anyone who received a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get a booster shot after two months, the CDC said.

Some moderate or severely immunocompromised people who have received three doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna Covid-19 vaccines can already get a fourth dose of vaccineAccording to the CDC.

But it is not clear if or when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can approve a fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccine for healthy teens and adults.

“We’re just sending this data to the FDA, and then we’ll see what the experts would say outside of Pfizer as well,” Bourla told CBS.

Children under 5 years of age may soon be vaccinated

Currently, children ages 5 to 11 are eligible for two pediatric doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, but is not yet eligible for a booster.

And children under the age of 5 are not yet eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine – though that may change this spring, Bourla said.

Initial experimental data in children aged 2 to 5 showed two doses of a smaller, child-sized vaccine did not provide the expected immunity in the 2- to 5-year-olds – even though it did for babies aged 6 months to 2 years.

So Pfizer decided to add a third dose in child size for children under 5 years of age in its ongoing trial.

Pfizer should have data on its three-dose vaccine trial for children aged 6 months to 5 years in April, Bourla told CBS on Sunday.

If approved by the FDA and recommended by the CDC, Covid-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months to 5 years could start as early as May, Bourla said.

A shot at a long-lasting vaccine against all variants

Bourla said Pfizer also hopes to make a vaccine that will protect against Omicron and all other variants of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19.

The goal is to create “something that can protect for at least a year,” Bourla told CBS on Sunday.

“And if we’re able to achieve that, then I think it’s very easy to follow and remember so we can go back to really the way (we) used to live,” he said.

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