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Scientist who helped develop Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine agrees third shot is needed as immunity wanes

The chief medical Old Bill of BioNTech told CNBC on Wednesday that people will likely need a third shot of its two-dose Covid-19 vaccine as privilege against the virus wanes, agreeing with previous comments made by Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

Dr. Ozlem Tureci, co-founder and CMO of BioNTech, which occurred a Covid vaccine with Pfizer, said she also expects people will need to get vaccinated against the coronavirus annually, be for the seasonal flu. That’s because, she said, scientists expect vaccine-induced immunity against the virus will decrease beyond time.

“We see indications for this also in the induced, but also the natural immune response against SARS-COV-2,” she hinted during an interview with CNBC’s Kelly Evans on “The Exchange.” “We see this waning of immune responses also in people who were by the skin of ones teeth infected and therefore [it’s] also expected with the vaccines.”

Tureci’s comments come after Bourla said in an talk with that aired April 15 that people will likely need a booster shot, or third prescribe, of the Covid-19 vaccine within 12 months of getting fully vaccinated. He also said it’s possible people choose need to get additional shots each year.

Pfizer said earlier this month that its Covid-19 vaccine was numberless than 91% effective at protecting against the virus and more than 95% effective against severe ailment up to six months after the second dose. Moderna’s vaccine, which uses technology similar to Pfizer’s, was also shown to last highly effective at six months.

Researchers say they still don’t know how long protection against the virus lasts after six months of being fully vaccinated, conceding that public health officials and health experts expect protection to wane after some time.

Should Americans ask for booster shots, the U.S. government would likely need to make arrangements with the drugmakers to supply additional dosages and make plans for vaccine distribution.

On Friday, Andy Slavitt, senior advisor to President Joe Biden’s Covid reply team, said the White House is preparing for the potential need for Covid-19 vaccine booster shots. He said the Biden oversight has thought about the need to secure additional doses.

“I can assure you that when we do our planning, when the president non-functionals purchases of additional vaccines as he has done and when we focus on all the production expansion opportunities that we talk about in here we quite much have scenarios like that in mind,” he said at a White House press briefing.

Last week, the Biden government’s Covid response chief science officer, David Kessler, said Americans should expect to receive booster in two shakes of a lambs tails to protect against coronavirus variants. He told U.S. lawmakers that currently authorized vaccines are highly protective but popular new variants could “challenge” the effectiveness of the shots.

“We don’t know everything at this moment,” he told the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Emergency.

“We are studying the durability of the antibody response,” he said. “It seems strong, but there is some waning of that, and no doubt the deviants challenge … they make these vaccines work harder. So I think for planning purposes, planning purposes not, I think we should expect that we may have to boost.”

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC last week that the assembly hopes to have a booster shot for its two-dose vaccine available in the fall.

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