Pfizer plans to submit data to the Food and Drug Administration for a fourth Covid shot soon, and it’s working on a vaccine that protects against all coronavirus variants, CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC on Friday.
“I think we’re going to submit to FDA a significant progress of data about the need for a fourth dose, and they need to make their own conclusions, of course, and then CDC also. … It’s clear that there is a need in an environment of omicron to boost the immune response,” Bourla said in an interview on “Squawk Box.”
“We are making a vaccine that covers omicron and all the other variants. There are so much trials that are going right now, and a lot of them we’ll start reading by the end of the month,” he continued later, adding that he’s optimistic from the preliminary data he’s seen so for.
Bourla’s comments come exactly two years after Covid was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020 and the global economy ground to a halt.
Pandemic-fighting measures put into place shortly after, including mask mandates and travel restrictions, and then a major breakthrough came when Covid vaccines were developed and cleared for use.Since then, around 81.4% of the American population five years old or older have received at least one dose of vaccine out of the three cleared in the U.S. from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, daily Covid cases and deaths have dropped sharply since peaking in January this year due to the omicron wave. Several states have lifted mask mandates in schools and other public places.Companies including Google and Apple have called workers back into the office. Businesses, including restaurants, entertainment venues and more have also roared back to life.
Despite some semblance of normal returning, Bourla maintained that he’s remaining vigilant in creating effective vaccines. “I think the biggest question of all of us is how to stay ahead of the virus.”
He said Pfizer is working on developing a vaccine that prevents infection in addition to preventing hospitalizations and severe cases of the virus, adding that making long-lasting vaccines is also a priority.
“We can’t have vaccines every five, six months,” Bourla said. “We need to be able to move as soon as possible.”