April 23, 2021: -On Wednesday, the chief medical officer of BioNTech told CNBC that people would likely need a third dose of its two-dose Covid-19 vaccine as immunity against the virus wanes, agreeing with previous comments made by Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.
Dr. Ozlem Tureci, co-founder and CMO of BioNTech, which developed a Covid vaccine with Pfizer, said she also expects people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus annually, like for the seasonal flu. That’s because she told scientists to expect vaccines had immunity against the virus will decrease over time.
Tureci’s comments come after Bourla said in an interview that aired April 15 that people will likely need a booster third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine within 12 months of getting vaccinated completely. He also said its possible people will need to get additional shots each year.
Researchers say they still don’t know how long protection against the virus lasts after six months of being fully vaccinated. However, public health officials and health experts expect protection to wane after some time.
If the Americans require booster doses, the U.S. government would likely need to make arrangements with the drugmakers to supply additional amounts and make plans for vaccine distribution.
On Friday, Andy Slavitt, senior advisor to President Joe Biden’s Covid response team, said the White House is preparing for the potential need for Covid-19 vaccine booster shots. He told the Biden administration has thought about the need to secure additional doses.
“I can assure you that when we do our planning, when the president orders purchase of additional vaccines as he has done and when we focus on all the production expansion opportunities that we talk about in here, we very much have scenarios like that in mind,” he said at a White House press briefing.
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC last week that the company hopes to have a booster shot for its two-dose vaccine available in the fall.