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Pfizer, Moderna CEOs predict a return to “normal life” in a year

Posted by Kanika Sinha

September 28, 2021    |     2-minute read (337 words)

Pfizer CEO and Chairman Albert Bourla said he anticipates a global return to regular pre-pandemic life by the end of 2022.  “Within a year I think we will be able to come back to normal life,” Bourla stated in a recent interview on ABC News

Bourla added that this does not mean variants of the coronavirus will cease to exist or that COVID-19 vaccines will become unnecessary. The most likely scenario is that “normalcy” will include the emergence of new variants of the virus. That means annual revaccinations as booster shots are almost certainly going to be a part of the landscape. 

But for a clearer picture, Bourla advises taking a wait-and-see approach based on newer data as it becomes available.

Bourla’s sentiment echoed by Moderna CEO

Stephane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, also expects normal life will resume by next year, assuming COVID-19 vaccine production increases to ensure a sufficient global supply.

“If you look at the industry-wide expansion of production capacities over the past six months, enough doses should be available by the middle of next year so that everyone on this earth can be vaccinated,” Bancel said in an interview, Reuters reported. “Boosters should also be possible to the extent required.”

Like Bourla, Bancel emphasized that annual coronavirus vaccine booster shots will also “undoubtedly” be required after the pandemic is contained.

CDC approves, WHO opposes

Bourla’s and Bancel’s comments followed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's decision to recommend the third dose of COVID-19 booster shots of Pfizer’s vaccine for certain populations.

On Sept. 24, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized the distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to older Americans and adults with underlying medical conditions. And in an unusual decision, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky overruled an advisory panel and approved the boosters for U.S workers in high-risk occupational and institutional settings. 

Meanwhile, citing the importance of equitable vaccine distribution, the World Health Organization continues to strongly oppose the widespread rollout of booster shots.

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