Pfizer CEO thinks everyone may need annual COVID vaccine

Albert Bourla
Albert Bourla, chief executive officer of Pfizer pharmaceutical company, waits to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Thursday afternoon, January 17, 2019 in New York City. Photo credit Drew Angerer/Getty Images
By , Audacy

When will life return to normal? This has been a question on the minds of Americans and the world since March of 2020. On Sunday, the Pfizer CEO and Chairman Albert Bourla said it could be within a year.

"Within a year, I think we will be able to come back to normal life," Bourla said to ABC News.

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Albert went on to say that he thinks normal life will return not only within the year, but that annual COVID vaccination shots will become necessary.

"The most likely scenario for me is that, because the virus is spread all over the world, that it will continue seeing new variants that are coming out," Bourla said. "Also, we will have vaccines that they will last at least a year, and I think the most likely scenario is annual vaccination, but we don't know really, we need to wait and see the data."

Bourla doesn't think that variants will stop emerging, but he says that he will have to wait to see what happens.

"I don't think that this means that the variants will not continue coming, and I don't think that this means that we should be able to live our lives without having vaccinations," he said. "But that, again, remains to be seen."

Moderna's CEO Stéphane Bancel also shared that she believes it will be a year until things are normal again, according to Reuters.

The distribution of Pfizer and BioBTech's COVID-19 booster shots was authorized by Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of the CDC, on Friday. The shots will go to those in high-risk occupational and institutional settings.

Walneksy's approval overruled the opinion of an advisory board that went against the decision.

The head of the CDC also approved booster shots to older Americans and adults with underlying medical conditions, who are at least six months out from their first series of shots, in line with the advisory panel.

The former head of the FDA, Scott Gottlieb believes the delta wave may be the last surge we see in the COVID-19 pandemic.

"On the back end of this delta wave, I do think this is the last major surge of infection, barring something unexpected like a new variant coming along that pierces the immunity offered by vaccination or prior infection," Gottlieb told CNN.

Dr. Michael Osterholm disagreed with Gottlieb's prediction on WCCO's Chad Hartman show. He also disagreed with him earlier this year, citing Gottlieb's comments that we would not see a peak this summer.

"I don't agree with him, and I didn't agree with him in May and June when he said there would be no summertime peak," he said.

Currently, 56% of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but the number will need to rise for the pandemic to come to an end, according to Osterholm.

"There's still 70 million Americans who could be vaccinated, who are not," Osterholm said. "That is more than enough human wood for this coronavirus forest fire to burn. And it will keep going."

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