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The chairman and CEO of pharmaceutical company Pfizer has said a fourth vaccination will be required to further protect people from coronavirus.
While the lifting of all coronavirus restrictions in England was recently announced by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, coming into effect on February 24, a new variant called 'Deltacron,' which is a combination of the Delta and Omicron coronavirus strains, has been identified.
On Sunday, March 13, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla addressed whether or not people will need a fourth booster vaccination dose to maintain protection against the virus.
So far, most people in the UK have been required to receive two vaccinations, as well as a single booster jab.
In an interview with CBS' Face the Nation, when questioned as to whether another vaccination would be required each autumn for Americans, the CEO stated that a booster would be 'necessary for most,' New York Post reports.
Pfizer CEO @AlbertBourla tells @margbrennan his company is working “very diligently” to make a covid vaccine that will protect against variants & will protect “for at least a year.” pic.twitter.com/yf2baRwy4K— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) March 13, 2022
He explained: 'Right now, the protection that you’re getting from the third [shot], it is good enough - actually quite good - for hospitalisations and deaths, it’s not that good against infections, but doesn’t last very long.'
The latest 'Deltacron' variant was first announced as having been discovered in France. However, cases have also been found in the Netherlands and Denmark.
According to the UKHSA, around 30 people have contracted the new variant in the UK.
There have been reports of cases in the US too.
While scientists think that the population should have developed a good standard of immunity to both variants separately, and that the new variant shouldn't pose a danger to the effectiveness of current vaccines, Bourla noted that Pfizer and other companies are working hard to produce a shot which can help combat any future mutations of the virus.
He said: 'Omicron was the first [variant] that was able to evade, in a skilful way, the immune protection that we’re given, but also in all that the duration of the protection doesn’t last very long.'
The CEO concluded: 'What we are trying to do and we are working very diligently right now it is to make not only a vaccine that will protect against all variants, including Omicron, but also something that can protect for at least a year.'
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