According to Pfizer CEO and Chairman Albert Bourla said on Sunday, “There will be a return to normal life within a year” and added that it’s likely annual Covid vaccination shots will be necessary.
“I agree that within a year I think we will be able to come back to normal life,” Bourla said during an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week.” “I don’t think this means that variants will not continue coming, and I don’t think this means we should be able to live our lives without having vaccinations.”
Bourla’s comments coincide with the remarks made last week by Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel, who predicted the pandemic would end “in a year.”
“If you look at the industry-wide expansion of production capacities over the past six months, enough doses should be available by the middle of next year so that everyone on this Earth can be vaccinated,” Bancel told Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Reuters reported Thursday.
“In this way, we will end up in a situation similar to that of the flu. You can either get vaccinated and have a good winter. Or you don’t do it and risk getting sick and possibly even ending up in the hospital,” he added.
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Bourla on Sunday told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos he believed COVID-19 would likely require annual vaccination to tackle variants that emerge across the world.
“The most likely scenario for me — because the virus is spread all over the world — is 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. “I think the most likely scenario is annual vaccinations. But we don’t know really. We need to wait and see the data.”
The comments come as vaccine booster shots become available to millions of eligible Americans.
The US Food and Drug Administration last week authorized Pfizer boosters for people 65 years and older and others at high risk of severe COVID-19, including people who are more likely to get sick because of their health status, and others at high risk of exposure to the virus due to where they live and work, as Insider’s Aria Bendix and Andrea Michelson reported.