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Two doses are not enough: Pfizer says it needs a third COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer CEO Albert Burla said people are likely to need an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine within 12 months of being fully vaccinated. Writes about it CNBC.

Photo: Shutterstock

Burla suggested that people may have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus annually.

“The likely scenario is that a third dose is likely to be required, sometime between 6 and 12 months, followed by an annual revaccination, but this needs to be confirmed. The spread of strains will play a key role, ”he explained.

Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorski said in February that people may need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 every year, just like seasonal flu.

Researchers still don't know how long protection from the virus lasts after being fully vaccinated.

Pfizer previously said its COVID-19 vaccine is more than 91% effective in protecting against coronavirus and more than 95% effective against serious illness within six months of the second dose. The Moderna vaccine, which uses technology similar to Pfizer's, has also been shown to be highly effective.

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Pfizer data is based on over 12 vaccinated participants. However, the researchers say more data is still needed to determine if there is protection after six months.

David Kessler, Chief Scientist for the US Presidential Administration Joe Biden's Office of COVID, said that Americans should expect repeated injections to protect against varieties of coronavirus.

Kessler told US lawmakers that currently approved vaccines are highly protective, but noted that new options could "challenge" the effectiveness of vaccines.

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“We don't know everything at the moment. So far, we are studying the stability of the antibody response, he said. - The immune response is strong, but there are also weaknesses. Of course, different strains create problems. ”

In February, Pfizer and BioNTech said they are testing the third dose of their COVID-19 vaccine to better understand the immune response against new variants of the virus.

Late last month, the National Institutes of Health began testing a new COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna, in addition to the existing vaccine, designed to protect against a problematic variant first discovered in South Africa.

Moderna CEO Stefan Bansel said the company hopes a revaccination for a two-dose vaccine will be available in the fall.

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