Breaking Monday, Pfizer became the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Until the FDA stamp of approval, Pfizer’s two-dose vaccination was given emergency use authorization. The two shots are to be administered three weeks apart, and are approved for those aged 16 and older.
Unfortunately, Pfizer’s CEO says a “vaccine-resistant” variant is likely to emerge one day. In an interview with Fox News Tuesday, CEO Albert Bourla stated, “Every time that the variant appears in the world, our scientists are getting their hands around it” he said.
“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 is hopeful that the company has a system in place to be able to create a variant-specific vaccine within roughly three months.
Fox News reports:
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.
Dr. Anthony Fauci reacted to the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer jab saying he hopes it will help those who have been reluctant to receive the vaccine to seriously consider getting it. Bourla responded to Fauci’s comments by telling Fox News the company is not prioritizing marketing of vaccines to ease vaccine hesitancy.
Rather, Pfizer wants to stay focused on increasing vaccine supply to meet global demand and keep up with emerging new variants. “I don’t think right now for us it’s a priority to do anything different than what we do” said Bourla.