Covid-19: Pfizer Says A Fourth Shot May Be Necessary

Federal health officials are continuing to monitor whether another booster dose will be needed and, if so, when.

Pfizer is close to submitting data to the United States Food and Drug Administration on a fourth dose of its Covid-19 vaccine, according to CEO Albert Bourla.

“Clearly there is a need in an environment of omicron to boost the immune response,” he told CNBC in an interview Friday.

Protection from the first two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine waned substantially against the omicron variant, research found, though a booster shot restored much of that protection.

But Bourla said Friday that Pfizer’s scientists are now seeing the protection from the initial booster shot begin to wane against omicron after three or four months, meaning a fourth dose may be needed.

Other countries, including Chile, Israel and Sweden, already allow for a fourth vaccine dose for certain vulnerable populations.

Federal health officials have said they are continuing to evaluate whether an additional dose will be needed, particularly in the fall, when Covid cases are expected to rise again. And vaccine makers, including Pfizer and Moderna, say they are prepared to update their shots this fall to target the dominant variant circulating.

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