The co-founder and chief medical officer of BioNTech, Ozlem Tureci, says people may need to get vaccinated with a third shot of its Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as immunity against the virus wanes.
Tureci noted that people will need to get vaccinated against the coronavirus annually, like for the seasonal flu, to boost immunity.
The co-founder, in an interview with CNBC, an American media platform, said scientists expect that the immunity induced by the vaccine against the virus to decrease over time.
“We see indications for this also in the induced, but also the natural immune response against SARS-COV-2,” Tureci was quoted by CNBC.
“We see this waning of immune responses also in people who were just infected and therefore [it’s] also expected with the vaccines.”
In April, Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO, said people will likely need a booster shot or third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine within six months or a year of getting fully vaccinated.
Bourla said there is a possibility people will need COVID-19 vaccination, annually, adding that the variant will also play a key role in this.
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“A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there, there will be an annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed. And again, the variants will play a key role,” he was quoted to have said.
“It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus.”