The CEO and chairman at Pfizer on Sunday predicted COVID-19 variants will persist even as the global pandemic ends.
In an interview on ABC News’ "This Week," Pfizer chief Albert Bourla said that likely an annual COVID vaccine will be needed .
“Within a year, I think we will be able to come back to normal life,” he said. “I don't think that this means that variants will not be continuing coming. And I don't think that this means that we should be able to live our lives without… having vaccinations, basically. But that… remains to be seen.”
According to Bourla, the “most likely scenario” in the face of a virus that’s spread around the world is that “we will continue seeing new variants that are coming out. And, also, we will have vaccines that…will last at least a year.”
He said in that scenario, it’s also likely there will be “annual re-vaccinations,” though he conceded, “we don't know really. We need to wait and see the data.”
The Food and Drug Administration last week authorized a booster dose of the Pfizer shot, along with the BioNTech COVID vaccine for those 65 and older, all people at high risk of severe disease, and others who are regularly exposed to the virus.
The change to the vaccine's emergency use authorization will allow boosters for groups such as health-care workers, teachers and day care staff, grocery workers and those in homeless shelters or prisons, FDA acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement.
Pfizer had asked the FDA to expand its vaccine approval to include boosters for all people aged 16 and older and presented data last week to an outside FDA panel of advisers that it said showed waning immunity over time.
Reuters contributed to this report
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