Pfizer chief says COVID-19 booster likely needed

The CEO of the drug company says that a booster followed by annual vaccinations will likely be needed to defeat the pandemic.

The CEO of Pfizer says that a booster shot within a year of vaccination against COVID-19 will likely be needed.

According to a report from The New York Times, CEO Albert Bourla said a third dose six to 12 months after the initial doses and annual vaccinations thereafter is a likely scenario due to the emerging variants of the disease. Meanwhile Moderna says that is at work on a booster shot for its own vaccine, and Johnson and Johnson says its single-dose jab may have to be administered yearly.

The vaccination effort has hit a snag this week as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called for a pause in administering the Johnson and Johnson vaccine while a small number of cases where blood clotting may be tied to the shots.

As previously reported, there have been six cases where women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) along with low levels of blood platelets six to 13 days after receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccination. About 7.2 million doses of the vaccine have been administered already.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) declined to vote in a special meeting April 14 on whether to lift the pause. Documents presented at the meeting showed that 52 percent of those administered the vaccine are still within the window for post-vaccination thrombocytopenic thrombotic events, as previously reported.

The CDC has announced there will be another emergency ACIP meeting April 23.