Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla apologized on July 8 to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci for failing to give the Biden administration a heads-up before news emerged that the company planned to seek authorization for a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine.
“The CEO, who is a really good guy, got on the phone with me last night and apologized that they came out with that recommendation,” Fauci told CNN on July 9.
The Epoch Times reached out to Pfizer for comment.
Pfizer and BioNTech, the makers of one of the three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the United States, released an update (pdf) on their booster shot research on July 8, saying they “have seen encouraging data in the ongoing booster trial of a third dose” of the vaccine. The companies said they plan to apply to submit their study data to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other authorities in the coming weeks.
Shortly after the announcement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA released a statement saying that fully vaccinated Americans do not need a booster shot.
“Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time. FDA, CDC, and NIH are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary,” the joint statement said. “We are prepared for booster doses if and when the science demonstrates that they are needed.”
According to Pfizer and BioNTech, initial data from their booster study suggests that a shot administered six months after the second dose has “a consistent tolerability profile” and elicits high neutralization against the wild type and the beta variant of the virus. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Pfizer and BioNTech pointed to research from Israel showing that the effectiveness of their vaccine at preventing infection and symptomatic disease diminishes significantly after six months. The data from Israel shows vaccine effectiveness dropping to 64 percent from 94.5 percent. Pfizer and BioNTech said the data from Israel matches the findings from the third phase of their own research.
The booster announcement comes as U.S. health officials have grown increasingly concerned with the delta variant of the CCP virus, which accounted for more than half of all cases in the country during a two-week period ending on July 3. Pfizer and BioNTech are developing an updated vaccine targeting the delta variant and plan to begin clinical trials in August.