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Pfizer CEO says COVID-19 vaccine booster dose 'likely' necessary within 12 months

It will probably be necessary for fully vaccinated people to head in for a third COVID-19 vaccine shot within a year, according to the head of Pfizer.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says people will "likely" need to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose within 12 months after they've been fully vaccinated, CNBC reported on Thursday. His comments were reportedly made on April 1 but just became public.

"It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus," he reportedly told CNBC at an event.

Bourla also reportedly said it's possible that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 annually will be necessary.

Previously, Pfizer said that an analysis of a phase 3 study found that its COVID-19 vaccine remained highly effective at least six months after the second dose. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, explained that with this data, "we know for sure" the vaccine is effective for six months, though it's "highly likely that it will be effective for considerably longer period of time." But Fauci added "we very well may need to get booster shots to keep up the level of protection." Moderna has also said its vaccine remains highly effective for at at least six months.

In February, Pfizer said that it was studying a booster dose of its vaccine, with Bourla at the time saying "we believe that the third dose will raise the antibody response 10-to-20 fold."