Pfizer CEO recommending third — and potentially annual — dose of vaccine

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) – Pfizer’s CEO, Albert Bourla, is now recommending a third dose of the vaccine between six and 12 months after the second dose and potentially an annual vaccination as well.

“There will likely be a need for a third dose somewhere between six and 12 months, and then from there, there will be an annual vaccination,” said Bourla.

One local expert, Doctor Terrence Reidy, said this booster shot was expected in the medical community. However, it is not clear at this point when exactly you’ll need it.

“We’ve all along expected that further booster doses will be needed after the first series probably for all the different vaccines, whether it’s six months or a year we don’t yet know.” said Dr. Reidy.

Doctor Reidy said a booster shot reminds the immune system how to respond to threats, such as a potentially changing Coronavirus.

“The other question is whether the virus will change much like the flu vaccine does, or the flu virus changes,” said Dr. Reidy. “And that six months from now, a year from now, or even now we’re seeing different virus variants that were not there six months ago, the vaccines presently are working against those variants, but it may change enough that our immune system doesn’t recognize the new variants in the future.

He makes an analogy to better understand the importance of getting repeat vaccines or a booster shot.

“The importance of the booster is to boost our immune system,” said Dr. Reidy. “Just like we workout every day if we want to be a good weightlifter or a good runner. So our immune system needs a reminder to refresh its memory.”

It may be possible that you’ll need a Coronavirus booster shot annually.

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