Pfizer CEO: ‘Normal Life’ Will Be Back ‘Within a Year’ but Vaccinations Necessary

Albert Bourla
Win McNamee/Getty

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Sunday agreed with predictions of “normal life” returning within a year, although he provided a caveat to his declaration, adding people should not “be able to live our lives without having” vaccinations.

“Finally, Moderna CEO said this week that the pandemic is on course to be over in about a year. Do you agree with that?” George Stephanopoulos asked Bourla.

“I agree that within a year, I think we will be able to come back to normal life,” he began. “I don’t think that this means that variants will not be continued coming, and I don’t think that this means that we should be able to live our lives without having immune —  without having vaccinations basically.”

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While he said it ultimately remains to be seen, Bourla predicted that new variants will continue to emerge and they will have vaccines that last “at least a year.” However, he believes annual revaccination is “likely.”

I think the most likely scenario is annual revaccinations, but we need to wait and see the data,” he said.

His remark follows that of Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel, who last week said the pandemic could be over next year.

“If you look at the industry-wide expansion of production capacities over the past six months, there should be enough doses by the middle of next year so that everyone on this earth can be vaccinated,” he said at the time, previewing their hopes to eventually vaccinate those as young as six months old.

“Those who do not get vaccinated will immunize themselves naturally, because the Delta variant is so contagious. In this way, we will end up in a situation similar to that of the flu,” he continued.

A nurse reaches for a vial of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a pop up vaccine clinic in the Arleta neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, August 23, 2021. - The US Food and Drug Administration on August 23, fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid shot, triggering a new wave of vaccine mandates as the Delta variant batters the country. Around 52 percent of the American population is fully vaccinated, but health authorities have hit a wall of vaccine hesitant people, impeding the national campaign. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

A nurse reaches for a vial of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a pop up vaccine clinic in the Arleta neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, August 23, 2021. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty)

“You can either get vaccinated and have a good winter. Or you don’t do it and risk getting sick and possibly even ending up in hospital. Let’s not forget,” he added.

According to the Our World In Data tracker, 44.5 percent of the world population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 75.2 percent of those 12 and older in the U.S. have received at least one coronavirus shot, and 64.7 percent in that group are considered fully vaccinated.

Overall, 55.3 percent of the total U.S. population is considered fully vaccinated, per the federal health agency’s data last updated Sunday.

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