Pfizer hints at 3rd vaccine shots for protection as 6,000 vaccinated people got COVID-19 in US

*The drugmaker and vaccine producer indicates that it is likely consumers will need ‘booster’ shots within 12 months of being fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus

*Health officials in US President Joe Biden’s administration are also leaning toward the idea of annual COVID-19 booster shots

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

It is not over until it is over! As vaccinations against the Coronavirus pandemic continue with the vaccine brand in several countries of the world, Pfizer-BioNTech has stated that consumers may need a third shot of the vaccine in 2022 to keep them protected against the damaging COVID-19.

Albert Bourla, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pfizer, in recorded comments earlier April  but made public Thursday, April 15, 2021, said it’s likely that people will need a “booster” shot within 12 months of being fully vaccinated against the virus, agency report said.

The Pfizer Chief at a CVS Health event stated: “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 re-vaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed.

“And again, the variants will play a key role.”

It was learnt Pfizer is not the first COVID-19 vaccine-maker to suggest it may be necessary to fortify the vaccine to maintain a high level of immunity in consumers.

Alex Gorsky, CEO at Johnson & Johnson, was reported to have made a similar observation February this year.

Gorsky said an annual COVID-19 booster could be just as necessary as an annual flu shot.

In terms of the virus variants and ‘vaccine hesitancy’ since vaccine rollout, these concerns are based on growing doubts about how long it will take the world to reach “herd immunity” against the virus.

Whereas the pace of vaccinations in the US is moving very quickly, there is however, a significant number of Americans who have said they do not plan to be vaccinated.

There are also easily transmitted variants of the virus spreading quickly around the globe.

Current vaccines have been shown to be effective against the variants, but health experts say people may need a robust level of antibodies to maintain a high level of immunity.

Since the earliest vaccines began being administered in December, drug makers haven’t been able to measure how long the vaccines remain effective.

Moderna updated its efficacy data to show that its two-shot vaccine was effective for at least six months with little decline in effectiveness, report stated.

Likewise, Health officials in the Biden administration are also reportedly leaning toward the idea of an annual COVID-19 booster shot.

Dr. David Kessler, the White House’s Science Officer in charge of the COVID-19 response, told lawmakers this week that the emergence of variants has made the outlook less certain.

“We don’t know everything at this moment,” Kessler told the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

He noted that the virus variants make the vaccines “work harder,” which could make them less effective.

The White House Science Officer noted: “So, I think for planning purposes, planning purposes only, I think we should expect that we may have to boost.”

In a related development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) has disclosed that about 6,000 vaccinated Americans got COVID-19.

ConsumerConnect reports that none of the COVID-19 vaccines is 100 percent effective, just as it might not be surprising that some vaccinated people end up being infected with the virus.

The CDC, which put the number at 5,800 told the CNN via e-mail that “to date, no unexpected patterns have been identified in case demographics or vaccine characteristics.”

Though clinical trial data suggested that vaccinations reduced the seriousness of infections, the CDC reports that 74 Americans died of COVID-19 despite being vaccinated.

Seven percent of the 5,800 patients were treated in hospitals, according to the regulatory agency.

ConsumerConnect report that in the Coronavirus tally compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the total US confirmed cases were estimated at 31,439,683 with aggregate 564,557 deaths, as of Thursday night.

On the total global cases, 138,489,227 COVID-19 cases were recorded with total global deaths put at 2,976,972.

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