America is moving toward what could be the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the virus — and possibly regular shots for it — could be around long into the future.
How long, however, cannot be determined, and even some of the world’s top health experts can’t provide solid answers about how many injections people need and for how long.
dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said: CNBC in an interview published Monday that he wasn’t sure what the future held for Covid vaccines, but he’s confident more will be needed in the future.
On Sunday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CBS’ Face the nation that a fourth Covid shot would be needed for Americans to control the virus in the future.
Albert Bourla (left), CEO of Pfizer, said it is necessary for Americans to get a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. dr. Anthony Fauci (right) said he believes more shots will be needed at some point, but can’t say for sure when and how many
‘The answer is: we don’t know. I mean, that’s it… it’s probably we’re not done with this when it comes to vaccines,” Fauci said when asked how many more injections were needed.
It has been exactly two years since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.
While basically every country has been affected by a virus, the total cases of 79,517,492 and 967,552 cases suffered in the US is the most of any country in the world.
Cases have declined rapidly in America since the wintry Omicron peak peaked in mid-January.
Many states have closed or restricted daily reporting of Covid cases, making it difficult for existing virus trackers to continue.
Last week, BNO Newsroom announced that it would close its tracker on Saturday. Johns Hopkins University also failed to update the numbers Monday morning — a reflection of the declining focus on daily case numbers.
Mandates are also being lifted across the country, and none of the 50 states have mask orders after next week.
In California, Governor Gavin Newsom even stated last month that his state will soon begin treating Covid as an endemic, rather than a pandemic.
While Fauci, who serves as director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease, has often been more cautious in his approach to the virus over the past two years, even he has begun to look at a post-pandemic America.
“Everyone wants to go back to normal, everyone wants to put the virus behind us in the rearview mirror, and I think that’s what we should be aiming for,” Fauci said. †
A return to ‘normal’ could still require Americans to receive regular Covid injections to control the virus — similar to the annual flu shot recommended to everyone.
Currently, a vast majority of U.S. adults are recommended by officials to receive a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine sequence and then a booster dose five months later.
For immunocompromised patients, a fourth dose is recommended to boost protection against the virus.
Fauci is one of those who have said in the past that a fourth dose will likely be needed soon, joining the CEOs of Moderna and Pfizer — the two leading vaccine manufacturers who have much to gain from an expanded vaccine rollout.
Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, appeared on CBS this week and said a fourth dose may already be needed “now” for Americans.
“At this point, as we have seen, a fourth booster is now needed,” said Bourla.
“The protection you get from the third party is good enough, actually pretty good for hospitalizations and deaths… it’s not as good against infections, but it won’t last long.”
Bourla also told CNBCs Squawk Box last week that his company notified the Food and Drug Administration of an upcoming application for a fourth dose.
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel has hinted that a fourth dose will also be needed in the future.
He told Squawk Box last month that after a relatively quiet spring and summer season, Americans will likely need a fourth dose before the typical flu season starting this fall.
“We think there’s a good chance we’ll be in an endemic environment,” Bancel said in February.
“We still have to be careful because as we’ve seen with Delta, which came after alpha and was more virulent, [it] the more virulent variant is of course always possible.’
However, the prospect of repeated Covid shootings is also a financial boon for the two companies.
The companies forecast combined revenue of $51 billion from vaccine sales by 2022, and this figure could rise even higher as governments around the world begin buying orders for another opportunity.
Both companies have been criticized for their business practices that put profits more than saving lives during the pandemic, and for having a stranglehold on their control of the jabs.