Coronavirus: annual vaccine is preferable to frequent boosters, says Pfizer

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc Chief Executive Albert Bourla said on Saturday that an annual COVID-19 vaccine would be preferable to more frequent booster shots in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine was effective against severe illness and death caused by the Omicron variant, but less effective against its transmission.

With the increase in the number of cases, some countries have expanded vaccine booster programs or shortened the interval between doses.

In an interview with N12 News in Israel, Albert Bourla said that a booster shot every four to five months “would not be a good scenario.”

“What I hope (is) that we have a vaccine that has to be done once a year,” he added.

“Once a year, it’s easier to convince people to do it. It is easier for people to remember it (…). From a public health standpoint, it’s an ideal situation,” the Pfizer CEO also said.

“We’re looking to see if we can create a vaccine that covers Omicron and doesn’t forget about the other variants and that could be a solution.”

Albert Bourla said that Pfizer could be ready to seek approval for a redesigned vaccine to combat Omicron and mass produce it as early as March.

Citing three studies, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday that a third dose of an mRNA vaccine was essential to combat Omicron, as it provides 90% protection against the virus. risk of hospitalization.

A preliminary study released Monday by the Sheba Medical Center in Israel found that a fourth dose raised antibodies to even higher levels than the third, but was probably not enough to fend off Omicron.

(Maayan Lubell Report, French version Benjamin Mallet)

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