facebook linkedin twitter

Pharmaceutical Executives Suggest Annual COVID-19 Vaccinations

April 19, 2021 by Tom Ramstack
(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Officials from the top U.S. pharmaceutical companies making the COVID-19 vaccine are saying vaccinated persons are likely to need booster shots within a year.

In fact, they probably will need to get vaccinated yearly for the foreseeable future, similar to the annual flu vaccines.

“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,” Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Albert Bourla said this week during a CNBC interview. “And again, the variants will play a key role.”

Similar statements were made in recent days by the chief executives of Moderna Inc. and Johnson & Johnson.

The pharmaceutical executives spoke about ongoing COVID-19 threats as the head of the World Health Organization said the pandemic is close to spiraling out of control.

COVID-19 cases reported weekly have nearly doubled globally in the past two months, reaching the highest rate since the pandemic started in late 2019.

“Cases and deaths are continuing to increase at worrying rates,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO, said this week.

Propelling some of the increase is the emergence of variants of the virus from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, according to the WHO. The variants are resistant to current vaccines, meaning the pandemic is likely to spread further and at an increasing rate.

Pfizer’s Bourla said the rapid spread among a growing segment of the world population demonstrates the need to get the disease under control quickly, before new and more deadly variants crop up.

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

Moderna Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said this week his company is hurrying to complete a booster shot by the fall.

He also said annual COVID-19 vaccinations are likely to become annual events in the coming years.

The disease “is not going away” and it’s “not leaving the planet,” Bancel told reporters.

The pharmaceutical executives’ warnings were backed up Thursday in congressional testimony from U.S. government disease specialists.

David Kessler, chief science officer for the White House COVID-19 Response Team, told lawmakers that the three current vaccines are highly effective but variants of the virus could “challenge” their continued effectiveness.

“Over the last several months, we have witnessed an increasing prevalence in viral variants that have raised questions about how effective current vaccines will be in the future,” Kessler said in his testimony to the House Oversight and Reform select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis.

He added, “As with other vaccines, such as the influenza vaccines, a subsequent dose may be important to provide continued protection against the wild-type strain but also may be critical to maintain protection against variants.”

In The News

Health

Voting

Health

August 5, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
The New Social Determinants Caucus

Two weeks ago, Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.,Tom Cole, R-Okla., G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., and Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., created a new Social... Read More

Two weeks ago, Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.,Tom Cole, R-Okla., G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., and Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., created a new Social Determinants Caucus, which will coordinate federal investments in health and social drivers of health such as food, housing and transportation. “The reason you start a caucus... Read More

August 5, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
New Rules Could Take Californiaʼs Pork Supply Offline

The California Farm Confinement Proposition, known as Prop 12, is set to become effective next year and could mean that... Read More

The California Farm Confinement Proposition, known as Prop 12, is set to become effective next year and could mean that pork suppliers lose access to California’s large market. The law will implement space requirements for chickens, calves, and hogs, such as retrofitting buildings, and will also... Read More

Head of UN Health Agency Seeks Vaccine Booster Moratorium

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the World Health Organization called Wednesday for a moratorium on administering booster shots of... Read More

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the World Health Organization called Wednesday for a moratorium on administering booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines as a way to help ensure that doses are available in countries where few people have received their first shots.  WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom... Read More

August 4, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
Genome Sequencing of Newborns Can Save Lives and Lower Medical Costs

Over the last decade evidence has shown that whole genome sequencing saves lives, but a new study from researchers in... Read More

Over the last decade evidence has shown that whole genome sequencing saves lives, but a new study from researchers in California shows how genome sequencing for newborns in intensive care units can also save money. “We now know there are more than 6,000 genetic diseases, but... Read More

August 4, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
COVID-19 Pandemic Increases Demand for Cosmetic Procedures

As COVID-19 lockdown orders have lifted and many individuals are returning to social activities, cosmetic surgeons across the country are... Read More

As COVID-19 lockdown orders have lifted and many individuals are returning to social activities, cosmetic surgeons across the country are seeing an increase in the demand for cosmetic procedures. “I’ve never seen a jump this high, most practices do get busier and it’s pretty predictable, but... Read More

Fauci: More 'Pain and Suffering' Ahead as COVID Cases Rise

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Sunday that more "pain and suffering" is on the horizon as COVID-19 cases climb again and... Read More

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Sunday that more "pain and suffering" is on the horizon as COVID-19 cases climb again and officials plead with unvaccinated Americans to get their shots. Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, also said he doesn't foresee additional lockdowns in the U.S.... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top