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Pfizer CEO: 3rd dose of COVID-19 vaccine ‘likely’ needed within 12 months

Apr 15, 2021, 1:11 PM | Updated: 1:44 pm
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FILE: A phial of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine prepared ready for administration at Guy's Hospital at the start of the largest ever immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in London (Photo by Victoria Jones - Pool / Getty Images)
(Photo by Victoria Jones - Pool / Getty Images)

Pfizer is anticipating a third vaccine dose will be needed within a year of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The CEO of the pharmaceutical company, Albert Bourla, said it’s also possible people will need to get vaccinated every year to protect themselves against the virus. Bourla’s comments were publicized Thursday but were originally taped April 1, according to CNBC

Pfizer isn’t positive the vaccine will be an annual shot, but research is underway to determine how long immunity lasts.

 “A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there, there will be an annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed,” Bourla told CNBC during an event with CVS Health. “And again, the variants will play a key role.”

Health experts and researchers have been questioning if the current COVID-19 vaccines available would protect against emerging COVID-19 strains. In an effort to discover the strength of immunity, Pfizer began trials on a third vaccine dose in February.

“It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus,” Bourla said. 

This story is breaking and will be updated. 

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Pfizer CEO: 3rd dose of COVID-19 vaccine ‘likely’ needed within 12 months