HOUSTON – The push to get Americans vaccinated against the coronavirus continues at a fever pitch.
But with the focus on the first round, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourlasays says people may need to start thinking already about yearly shots.
“A likely scenario is we will not have a third dose vaccine. We will have an annual re-vaccination likely with one dose,” Bourla told NBC Nightly News on Thursday.
But with no reliable estimates on when the initial vaccination phase will end. How can Americans start thinking about annual shots starting next year?
Dr. Pedro Piedra, a professor pediatric infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine, say it’s just too soon to know if annual shots for COVID-19 will be necessary.
“Generally when you give a new vaccine dose you don’t need two doses, normally it’s only one because your immune system has already been trained and all you have to do is now retrain it a little for this new variant,” Piedra said.
He acknowledges COVID-19 variants pose a number of questions but so far the current vaccines have fared well against them.
And as opposed to the flu which has four types for now there is only one type of COVID.
“I think the first thing that we need to do is to vaccinate our population to ensure we are protecting against what is circulating at this time,” said Piedra.
Doctors say 75% to 80% of the population vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. As of right now, America is at about 13%.