The COVID vaccine from Pfizer has been one of the more heralded vaccines in comparison to the ones offered by Johnson & Johnson and Moderna here in the United States. Vaccine rollout is continuing and people are thankfully getting vaccinated in steady numbers. However, the Pfizer vaccine does require that patients get two shots spread out in order for it to achieve its full efficacy. But now, it looks like there could be another shot of the vaccine in store for those who are already getting the shot.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has told CNBC that people are probably going to need a third shot of the COVID vaccine within twelve months of getting vaccinated in the first place. An even broader comment from Bourla says that people may have to vaccinated annually against coronavirus for the foreseeable future. “We need to see what would be the sequence, and for how often we need to do that, that remains to be seen,” Bourla said to CNBC’s Bertha Coombs. “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. And again, the variants will play a key role.”
It seems like the COVID vaccine could become a regular part of our medical establishment in the same way that flu shots have integrated themselves into our annual cycle. As Bourla stated, this has to do with the variants of the virus that have continued to crop up around different parts of the globe. Much like influenza continues to need constant vaccinations because of its mutating nature, the same might be in store for our relationship with the COVID-19 virus. If that is the case, it seems like the virus is here to stay and will become a constant presence in our global culture. Part of this has to do with the fact that researchers don’t know how long people with the vaccine will be protected against the virus once they have been vaccinated. So annual protections might need to be put in place.
President Biden’s COVID response chief science officer, David Kessler, has even said that the COVID vaccine may need to be integrated into booster shots and should expect that to become the norm in the not-too-distant future. With variants of the virus continuing to crop up, there is just so much that is unknown about how best to combat the spread of the virus and institutions are trying what they believe is the best option available to them at the time.
After a year of the pandemic, the COVID vaccine is here but we are still struggling with how best to combat this debilitating issue. While a third shot of the COVID vaccine and annual shots sounds like a laborious change to our societal structure, it is a step in the right direction towards getting the pandemic under control and getting life back to some semblance of normal. Hopefully, we will gain some more crucial data about the effects of the vaccine and can learn even better ways to combat the spread of this deadly virus.