Pfizer CEO says third dose of COVID-19 vaccine ‘likely’ needed within one year

Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla said that COVID-19 vaccine recipients will “likely” need a third dose between six to 12 months after they’re fully vaccinated.

Bourla told CNBC’s Bertha Coombs at a CVS Health event that a “likely scenario” based on current data is that the COVID-19 vaccine would need to be given annually, similar to the flu shot.

What he said: “A likely scenario is there will be likely a need for a third dose somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there there would be an annual revaccination.”

“But all of that needs to be confirmed and again the variants will play a key role,” he continued. “It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus because they are vaccinated with high-efficacy vaccines.”

What we know: Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech reported earlier this month that their vaccine remained 91 percent effective at least six months after the second dose.

Bourla said the six months of data shows “extremely, extremely high” protection from COVID-19, noting that protection still “goes down by time.”