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Pfizer CEO says two Covid vaccine doses aren't 'enough for omicron'

Pfizer CEO says two doses aren't 'enough for omicron'

January 12, 2022: On Monday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said two doses of the company’s vaccine might not provide strong protection against infection from the omicron Covid variant, and the original doses have also lost some of their efficacy at preventing hospitalization.

Bourla, in an interview at J.P. Morgan’s healthcare conference, emphasized the importance of a third dose to boost people’s protection against omicron.

“The two doses, they are not enough for omicron,” Bourla said. “The third dose of the recent vaccine is providing quite good protection against deaths and decent protection against hospitalizations.”

Bourla said omicron is a difficult target than the last variants. Omicron, which has dozens of mutations, can evade few of the protection provided by Pfizer’s original two doses.

“We have seen with a second dose clearly that the recent thing that we lost was the protection against infections,” Bourla said. “But then two months, what used to be very strong in hospitalization went down. And I think this is what everybody’s worried about.”

According to data from the U.K, real-world data from the United Kingdom has found that two vaccine doses are 52% effective at preventing hospitalization 25 weeks following receiving the second shot. Health Security Agency.

Moderna CEO warns people may need a fourth Covid shot as the efficacy of boosters is likely to decline over time.

The two doses of Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines are only about 10% effective at preventing infection from omicron 20 weeks after the second dose.

A booster dose, on the other hand, is nearly 75% effective at preventing symptomatic infection and 88% effective at preventing hospitalization, according to the data.

However, Bourla said it’s unclear how long a booster dose will protect Covid. The U.K. Health Security Agency found that boosters are only 40% to 50% effective against infection ten weeks after receiving the shot.

“The question mark, it is long that protection lasts with the third dose,” Bourla said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that some people with compromised immune systems receive four doses, three primary doses, and one booster. Israel has rolled out the fourth Pfizer dose for people over 60. Israel found that fourth doses increase protective antibodies fivefold.

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