A COVID-19 vaccination that is effective against several variants could be available by the end of 2022, according to Pfizer’s CEO.
Chairman Albert Bourla said the company was also working on a vaccine that would provide good protection for a whole year, requiring individuals to return annually for boosters, similar to how influenza vaccinations are administered.
“I hope, clearly by autumn… that we could have a vaccine” that worked against not only the dominant Omicron but all known variants,” he said.
“It is a possibility that we have it by then. It is not a certainty,” he said at a press conference hosted by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), a lobbying group for big pharma.
Pfizer-COVID-19 BioNTech’s vaccine is one of the most effective.
Though its potency against the now-dominant Omicron strain of the virus has waned, it still provides excellent protection against serious sickness, hospitalization, and death, as has the case with other vaccines.
The world must learn to live with the virus that causes COVID-19 sickness, according to IFPMA Director General Thomas Cueni: “We are beyond the time when you can eradicate SARS-CoV-2.”
Pfizer targets to launch COVID-19 vaccine for all variants by end-2022
There was a risk of vaccine fatigue, according to Bourla, who predicted that few people who had previously refused vaccinations would change their views, and that fewer people would return for fourth shots than for a third, booster dosage.
“What the world really needs is a vaccine that will last a year. I think this is what will become the optimal public health solution,” he said.
“It’s way more easy to be administered and have the population be compliant with that.
“It is very challenging, technically, to do it with this virus — but we are working on it.”
There are 153 COVID-19 vaccines in clinical development (human testing) and 196 vaccines in pre-clinical development, according to the World Health Organization.
Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Moderna, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Bharat Biotech, and Novavax are the only vaccines and variants of vaccines that have been approved by the UN health agency thus far.