Pfizer CEO says COVID-19 vaccine-resistant variant likely to emerge
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Tuesday said the company believes a COVID-19 vaccine-resistant variant will likely one day emerge, though the company has a system in place to turn around a variant-specific jab within some three months.
“Every time that the variant appears in the world, our scientists are getting their hands around it,” Bourla told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “They are researching to see if this variant can escape the protection of our vaccine. We haven’t identified any yet but we believe that it is likely that one day, one of them will emerge.”
Bourla noted a company process to develop a variant-specific vaccine within 95 days from identifying the variant of concern. Infectious disease experts and public health officials have reiterated for months that broadening the reach of the existing vaccines across the population, in the U.S. and abroad, will reduce the opportunity for the virus to further mutate.
CDC data indicates 62.5% of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with 73.1% receiving at least one dose. While federal health officials look to rollout COVID-19 booster shots among most Americans come September, pending FDA review, the head of the World Health Organization on Monday called for a two-month moratorium on administering booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines as a means of reducing global vaccine inequality and preventing the emergence of new coronavirus variants. – READ MORE