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Pfizer CEO Claims Annual Vaccine Could Be ‘Necessary’

Health

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla | Image by ABC News

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Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla stated in an interview on MSNBC that yearly vaccines against the COVID-19 virus may become “necessary.”

In an interview on “Morning Joe,” Bourla was asked about the possibility of introducing annual vaccine boosters.

Bourla replied, “I’m almost certain about it — and I say ‘almost certain’ because, of course, regulators have the final say on that.”

He went on to say that the vaccine’s mRNA process allows each year’s boosters to be tailored to new variants that will “inevitably arise.”

This is not the first time Bourla has presented the possibility. In January, during an interview with Israel’s N12 News, he said a yearly vaccine schedule would be preferable to staggering boosters every four to five months.

“Once a year … it is easier to convince people to do it. It is easier for people to remember,” said Bourla.

“From a public health perspective, it is an ideal situation. We are looking to see if we can create a vaccine that covers Omicron and doesn’t forget the other variants,” he said.

The sentiment echoes comments by the head of the National Institute of Health’s Infectious Disease and Prevention Center, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Last month, Fauci told New York City’s PIX 11 News that the coronavirus would be treated as a chronic threat in the future. The goal would be to keep the number of infections and hospitalizations low enough to avoid lockdowns.

Fauci also stated that vaccine-based immunities are reduced over time, pointing to the flu shot, which is administered yearly around the time flu season starts.

A panel of expert advisers brought the issue before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April. The panelists, a mix of researchers and pharmaceutical industry representatives, advised the organization to develop a plan for an annual booster shot with at least 80% effectiveness against severe illness and death.

One of the main arguments in favor of COVID-19 vaccine boosters has been the observation that anti–SARS-CoV-2 antibodies wane over time.

However, the Brownstone Institute argued that the subject of natural immunity has been “neglected,” possibly as a means of encouraging vaccination.

“Even now, there is an absence of open discussion, presumably in the interests of promoting universal vaccination and required documentation of such vaccination as a condition of participating in public life and even the jobs marketplace,” it reads.

“Still, the science exists. Many studies exist,” the article continues. “These studies demonstrate what was and is already known: natural immunity for a SARS-type virus is robust, long-lasting, and broadly effective even in the case of mutations, generally more so than vaccines.”

A study in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that natural immunity — immunity conferred via actual infection from COVID-19 —  is longer lasting than that conferred by vaccination in protecting against hospitalization and death.

Additionally, growing evidence suggests that heart complications may result from receiving the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines. While still rare, myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, swelling of the thin membrane around the heart, can occur following vaccination. These side effects tend to appear in male adolescents and young adults.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists a number of possible side effects of a COVID-19 vaccine on its website    

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