Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC's Bertha Coombs Thursday that people will "likely" require a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccination within 12 months of being fully vaccinated.
“It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus,” Bourla said at a CVS Health event, where he also mentioned that people might need to get vaccinated against the coronavirus annually, but it "remains to be seen" how often vaccines would be provided.
"A likely scenario is there will be likely a need for a third dose somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there there would be an annual revaccination," Bourla said.
Bourla said Thursday that vaccines are essential tools in fighting against variants of the coronavirus.
"All of that needs to be confirmed and, again, the variants will play a key role,” he added. "It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus because they are vaccinated with high-efficacy vaccines."
Pfizer and BioNTech announced in February that they are testing a third dose of their COVID-19 vaccination to help better boost immune response.
"We believe that the third dose will raise the antibody response 10- to 20- fold," Bourla said at the time in an interview, adding that they believe a third dose of the vaccine will boost immune response and help protect against variants.
The company announced earlier this month that their vaccine is more than 90% effective at least six months after the second dose is given.
Bourla also said this week that the pharmaceutical company has “ramped up production” of its COVID-19 vaccine. The company is now on track to deliver “10% more doses to the US by the end of May than previously agreed,” a 20 million dose increase from the company’s originally promised 200 million doses by the end of the month, and will also be able to “supply the full 300M agreed on for the end of July two weeks early.”