A recent NBC News article discussed Pfizer’s plans to submit data to the FDA for a fourth dose of its COVID-19 vaccine. As Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla put it to CNBC in an interview last Friday, “Clearly there is a need in an environment of omicron to boost the immune response.” Pfizer’s scientists are seeing that the initial booster’s protection against omicron is beginning to wane after three to four months, suggesting a need for a fourth dose.
Other countries such as Chile, Israel, and Sweden already allow for a fourth dose if the patient is in a vulnerable position. However, with omicron-related cases significantly decreased, the FDA has to determine if a fourth dose is necessary. Federal officials have said they are continuing to evaluate if and when a new spike in cases will occur. A Harvard epidemiologist agrees with the vaccine makers that additional doses may be necessary for certain groups such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.