Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said we may need annual Covid snapshots


Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla speaks at a press conference after a visit to oversee the production of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at the plant of US pharmaceutical company Pfizer in Puurs, Belgium, on April 23, 2021.

Jean Thys | Swimming pool | Reuters

There will be a return to normal life within a year, Pfizer CEO and Chairman Albert Bourla said on Sunday, adding that it is likely that annual Covid vaccines will be needed.

“Within a year, I think we can get back to normal life,” Bourla said in an ABC interview on “This Week”.

Returning to normal life will come with caveats, he said: “I don’t think that means that the variants won’t keep coming, and I don’t think that means we should be able to live our life. life without vaccines, ”says Bourla. “But that, again, remains to be seen.”

Bourla’s prediction of returning to normal life is consistent with that of Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel. “From today, a year from now, I guess,” Bancel told Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung, according to Reuters on Thursday, when asked for his estimate of a return to normal life.

For that to happen, Bourla of Pfizer suggested that it is likely that annual coronavirus vaccines will be needed.

“The most likely scenario for me is that, because the virus is spreading around the world, it will continue to see new variants coming out,” Bourla said. “We will also have vaccines that will last at least a year, and I think the most likely scenario is annual vaccination, but we don’t really know, we have to wait and see the data.”

On Friday, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Rochelle Walensky, authorized the distribution of Covid-19 booster vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech to people in high-risk professional and institutional settings, a move that canceled an advisory committee. Walensky approved the distribution of the booster shots to older Americans and adults with underlying health conditions at least six months after their first round of injections, according to the advisory committee.

The World Health Organization strongly opposes a widespread rollout of booster shots, saying richer countries should give extra doses to countries with minimal vaccination rates.

Bourla said on Sunday that it was “not fair to decide whether or not you are going to approve the boosters” on other criteria than “whether the boosters are needed”.

Former CDC chief Tom Frieden on Tuesday criticized Moderna and Pfizer for not sharing immunization intellectual property more widely to help accelerate global immunization rates.

“While focusing on selling expensive vaccines to rich countries, Moderna and Pfizer are doing next to nothing to close the global vaccine supply gap. It’s shameful,” Frieden said on Twitter.

Bourla said it was not a good idea to make waves on intellectual property.

“Intellectual property is what created the thriving life sciences industry that was ready when the pandemic struck,” Bourla said. “Without that, we wouldn’t be here to discuss whether we hadn’t done it with us or not because we wouldn’t have vaccines … Plus, we’re very proud of what we’ve done. I don’t know why [Frieden] use these words. We are very proud. We have saved millions of lives. “

Pfizer sells vaccines at different prices to countries with different levels of wealth. Developing countries are buying vaccines at cost from Pfizer, Bourla said. And Bourla pointed out that Pfizer sells a billion doses of the vaccine to the US government at cost. The US government then donates those doses of the vaccine “free of charge, completely free, to the poorest countries in the world,” he said.

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