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Pfizer CEO Bourla: Vaccine Takers May Require Third Booster Dose

Vaccinations might be necessary every year, Pfizer's Bourla told CNBC in comments made April 1, but aired Thursday.
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Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report Chief Executive Albert Bourla told CNBC that people taking the drug giant’s COVID vaccine will “likely” need a third dose of it within a year after the second one.

Vaccinations might be necessary every year, he said. Bourla made the comments April 1, but they were aired Thursday.

“We need to see what would be the sequence, and for how often we need to do that, that remains to be seen,” he said. “A likely scenario is that there will be … a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months. And from there, there will be an annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed. And again, the variants will play a key role.”

Many medical experts have said an annual vaccination may be necessary. Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report CEO Alex Gorsky told CNBC that in February.

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Thursday’s news didn’t affect Pfizer stock, which rose 1.2% in an up market Thursday to $37.61.

In other vaccine news, Gourla said Tuesday that Pfizer has ramped up production of its vaccine and can deliver 10% more doses to the U.S. than previously agreed by the end of May.

He wrote in a tweet that the company now anticipates delivering 220 million doses of the vaccine it developed jointly with BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report by the end of next month, and all 300 million doses agreed on two weeks early, in July.

Meanwhile, the White House said Tuesday that the decision to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine won’t affect the national rollout of vaccines.