Pfizer’s CEO Says Fourth COVID Shot Is Needed. Is He Right?

Covid fourth shot

March 15, 2022 — The CEO of vaccine maker Pfizer made news over the weekend when he said people who have already gotten three shots of his company’s COVID-19 vaccine will need a fourth dose.

Albert Bourla, PhD, said data the company has submitted to the FDA — but has not yet released publicly — shows this need.

Although a third dose of an mRNA vaccine can still lessen the risks of hospitalization and death, a fourth dose is “necessary” to prevent future cases of infection, he said on CBS’s Face the Nation.

Pfizer is also expected to ask the FDA this week to approve a fourth shot for people 65 and older, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

With all this happening, we asked infectious disease experts to weigh in, especially as daily new case numbers continue to drop to levels not seen since July 2021.

“To date, there is limited information surrounding the need or efficacy of a fourth dose of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines,” says Matthew Harris, MD.
small study from Israel found that a fourth dose increased antibodies to levels greater than in patients who received three doses alone.But the study did not find a fourth dose effective at preventing infection from the Omicron variant, says, Harris, medical director of the Northwell Health COVID-19 vaccination program in New Hyde Park, NY.”It seems a more likely scenario that the COVID-19 vaccines will become part of a seasonal vaccination akin to the influenza vaccine,” he says.Jason Pogue, PharmD, agrees that a fourth dose is more a matter of “when” than “if.”

“Whether that is with the vaccines currently available, an Omicron-specific vaccine, a vaccine directed towards some future variant, or some combination of those remains to be determined,” he says.

Ask Your Doctor

If you think you might need or want a fourth shot, reach out to your doctor or other health care provider, especially if it’s been 6 months or longer since your last shot.

“If patients are fully vaccinated and boosted, and transmission is low in their communities, I’d advise no further vaccination for them.”

Karen Tashima, MD

At this time, the CDC recommends vaccination and a booster for everyone 12 and older and two doses for those 5 to 11. People with weakened immune systems are already encouraged to get another dose.

  • 26
  • 6

Lead Image: Dreamstime

WebMD Health News © 2022
Cite this: Pfizer’s CEO Says Fourth COVID Shot Is Needed. Is He
Right? – Medscape – Mar 15, 2022.


Image Source:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like