It has long been mooted that coronavirus will become an annual event, much like the flu. That speculation has been lent further weight after Pfizer Inc’s CEO said he believes people will ‘likely’ need a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. CEO Albert Bourla said a potential booster shot would be administered six to 12 months of being fully vaccinated.
Bourla made the announcement during a panel discussion hosted by CNBC in conjunction with CVS Health taped on April 1.
During the panel discussion, the Pfizer CEO went one step further, suggesting that people get vaccinated annually following their third jab.
“There are vaccines that are like polio that one dose is enough…and there are vaccines like flu than you need every year,” he said.
“The Covid virus looks more like the influenza virus than the polio virus.”
Administering the jab annually should corner the virus, achieving what is commonly referred to as “herd immunity.”
‘It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus,’ Bourla said during panel discussion.
The long-term immunity offered by the current crop of coronavirus vaccines is unknown but research suggests the Pfizer vaccine is highly effective in the short-term.
A study led by University of Birmingham researchers and supported by the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium, compared antibody and cellular immune responses between the AstraZeneca and the Pfizer jab in over 80s.
For the study, researchers collected blood samples from 165 people who were 80 to 99-years of age and living independently.
Seventy-six people received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine and 89 received one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Samples were collected five to six weeks after the first vaccine dose.
Spike-specific antibodies were present in the majority of people in both groups; 93 percent after the Pfizer vaccine and 87 percent after the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Am I eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine?
Everyone aged 45 and over can get the COVID-19 vaccine.
You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.
People at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable), can also get the COVID-19 vaccine.
You do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS if you’re eligible.