On Sunday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said people will need a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose due to “waning” immunity. “It is necessary for most” people, Bourla said during an interview with CBS when asked if Americans can expect to get annual COVID booster shots every fall.
Bourla went on to concede that the initial two-dose mRNA vaccine program did not provide the immunity advertised by politicians and pharmaceutical companies. Many politicians, including Joe Biden, sold the initial two-dose vaccine as one that would grant immunity to the virus. “You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations,” then-candidate Biden said during a CNN town hall in July of 2020. Biden and other high-profile Democrats have walked back those claims after breakthrough case rates skyrocketed last year.
“Right now, the protection that you’re getting from the third [dose], it is good enough — actually quite good for hospitalizations and deaths — it’s not that good against infections, but doesn’t last very long,” Bourla said.
The Pfizer CEO went on to claim that the Omicron variant is the first variant that was able to “evade” their vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci repeatedly claimed that a third booster injection would offer protection against future variants when the shots were beginning to roll out last December.
Despite Omicron producing far fewer hospitalizations and deaths than previous variants, with an overwhelming majority of patients recording mild symptoms, Bourla is still encouraging people to get a fourth dose in order to avoid getting sick.
Bourla said the company is working on a vaccine that will “offer protection” against future variants. “What we are trying to do and we are working very diligently right now it is to make not only a vaccine that will protect against all variants, including Omicron, but also something that can protect for at least a year.”