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Pfizer vaccine shots might be needed every year

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Pfizer’s CEO says that people who have received the company’s COVID-19 vaccine will “likely” need a third booster shot within a year to maintain protection against the virus – and might need to get inoculated every year.

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“A likely scenario is that there will likely be a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months, and then from there there will be an annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed,” Alberta Bourla said.

“And again, the variants will play a key role.

“It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus.”

The pharmaceutical chief said that Pfizer had been testing booster shots as early as February in case it was determined they would be needed.

Moderna, the competitor whose vaccine uses a similar so-called messenger RNA platform as Pfizer’s, has also said it is testing booster shots.

It comes as Australia’s political leaders warn against rushing to conclusions after the death of a NSW woman who developed blood clots a day after receiving a vaccine shot.

Australians under 50 were last week warned off receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine after a link was confirmed between the jab and the clots.

Two people have developed bloods clots likely linked to their AstraZeneca jab in Australia – a woman in Western Australia and a man in Victoria, both aged in their 40s.

“It has not yet been established whether there is any link between the COVID-19 vaccine and the tragic death reported by NSW health officials,” the Therapeutic Goods Administration said in a statement overnight.

“NSW Health has said there is no confirmed link but further investigations are under way.”

The prime minister on Thursday said state and federal authorities would continue to look into the 48-year-old woman’s death.

“There is a lot more to understand and learn about that issue and I would caution others in making conclusions about this at this point as well,” Scott Morrison said.

“We’ve been very transparent, very transparent when it comes to information on these issues.”

Morrison said potential concerns around vaccine hesitancy meant it was important that the matter was fully investigated.

The TGA is responsible for regulating and monitoring the use of COVID vaccines in Australia but NSW Health is notified when a serious or unexpected adverse event occurs.

It has not been publicly confirmed which vaccine the woman received.

-with AAP

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