Pfizer CEO says 4th COVID-19 shot necessary, but is it premature?
The CEO of Pfizer says that a fourth dose of his corporation’s COVID-19 vaccine will be necessary. But experts in the tristate area say that more data needs to be collected before this can be confirmed.
“No one can say yet if you’re going to need an annual COVID shot,” says Dr. Chris Pernell, chief strategic integration and health equity officer at University Hospital in Newark.
As health care providers and state officials still work to get people to sign up for third doses of COVID-19 vaccines, some are wondering if talk of a fourth or annual shot for the general public could be premature.
“There isn't any data that says for those of us who have fully competent immune systems, immune systems that are working normally, that we should go out and get a fourth dose. There is data we should get a booster shot,” Pernell says.
Pernell says that right now, fourth shots are only recommended for people who are moderately or severely immune-compromised.
“Or have had a solid organ transplant or those people who are on heavy-dose steroids or on other immune suppressant drugs that does not allow their immune system to function as robustly or as strong as someone else,” she says.
But Pernell warns that this could change.
“I really, really caution - only say with certainty what you know with certainty. Otherwise, let the public know where we just don't have the science yet,” she says.
Pfizer's CEO said on Sunday that his company has submitted its data to the FDA.