Pfizer CEO 'concerned' about a holiday COVID wave

Pfizer CEO ‘concerned’ about holiday COVID wave

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla weighs in on coronavirus treatment pills, lockdowns and another COVID wave on ‘Barron’s Roundtable.’

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Friday on "Barron's Roundtable" that he is "concerned" about another wave of COVID-19 over the upcoming winter holidays.

"I am concerned," he said. "We saw it…last time. And we see always when there are gatherings because of the holidays, in winter particularly, that this is happening. So it's very likely to see it, yes, particularly in places that…people are not having high rates of vaccinations."


The head of the pharmaceutical giant said the vaccine is still important despite his company's development of a COVID pill, and those who choose to take a coronavirus treatment pill rather than undergo vaccination are making a "very big mistake." 

"The goal here is to prevent the disease and not to treat," he added. 

The prevalence of masking measures, COVID booster shots and lockdowns will vary by state in the future, Bourla said. In states with a "good vaccination rate, none of that will be needed," he remarked, saying "we should and will be able to move back to the normal way of living lives."

He predicted the three-series vaccine will persist "for at least a year," followed by annual revaccinations comparable to the flu shot. Such revaccinations "will maintain our immune responses very, very high," he said.

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FILE PHOTO: Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla talks during a press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after a visit to oversee the production of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at the factory of U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer in Puurs, Belgium April 23, 2021. 

Bourla also said, "we need to have boosters."


As Moderna is embroiled in an intellectual property dispute with the National Institutes of Health, the Pfizer kingpin said he does not think his competitor's spat will change how companies work with government researchers in the future. 

He said, "the rules of the game are very clear" and "if someone is part of the invention, he should be named irrelevant where he or she belongs, in which organization."

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