- The CEO of Pfizer said Sunday the COVID-19 pandemic would likely subside by next year, allowing for a return to normal life.
- He said the COVID-19 virus would likely continue to evolve, requiring annual vaccinations.
- His comments are similar to those made last week by Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel.
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Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Sunday he believed life would return to normal within the next year even though new variants of COVID-19 are likely to continue to emerge around the globe.
“I agree that within a year I think we will be able to come back to normal life,” Bourla said during an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week.” “I don’t think this means that variants will not continue coming, and I don’t think this means we should be able to live our lives without having vaccinations.”
Bourla’s comments echo remarks made last week by Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel, who predicted the pandemic would end “in a year.”
“If you look at the industry-wide expansion of production capacities over the past six months, enough doses should be available by the middle of next year so that everyone on this Earth can be vaccinated,” Bancel told Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Reuters reported Thursday.
Bancel said people who do not get vaccinated would “immunize themselves naturally” because the Delta variant is highly transmissible.
-This Week (@ThisWeekABC) September 26, 2021
“In this way we will end up in a situation similar to that of the flu. You can either get vaccinated and have a good winter. Or you don’t do it and risk getting sick and possibly even ending up in hospital,” he added.
Bourla on Sunday told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos he believed COVID-19 would likely require annual vaccination to tackle variants that emerge across the world.
“The most likely scenario for me – because the virus is spread all over the world – is we will continue seeing new variants that are coming out, and also we will have vaccines that will last at least a year,” he said. “I think the most likely scenario is annual vaccinations. But we don’t know really. We need to wait and see the data.”
The comments come as vaccine booster shots become available to millions of eligible Americans.
The US Food and Drug Administration last week authorized Pfizer boosters for people 65 years and older and others at high risk of severe COVID-19, including people who are more likely to get sick because of their health status, and others at high risk of exposure to the virus due to where they live and work, as Insider’s Aria Bendix and Andrea Michelson reported.
The development came the same week that deaths from the coronavirus in the US surpassed that of the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic.