- Pfizer says it has data on waning immunity from their COVID vaccine.
- The FDA and CDC say “not so fast.”
- Booster shots could bring billions in revenue to Pfizer and Moderna.
- The media is using scare headlines and is not always presenting accurate stories.
- Patients are left to wonder if they need a booster shot creating anxiety as a new strain emerges.
According to a report on CNN.com “Pfizer said it is seeing waning immunity from its coronavirus vaccine and says it is picking up its efforts to develop a booster dose that will protect people from variants.” However, the FDA and CDC say, “Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time,” the agencies said in a joint statement.” So who to believe?
Pfizer and Moderna both have reported six-month follow up data from their phase 3 trials. Their vaccines boast overall efficacy of 91.3% and more than 90%, respectively. And both companies have performed in vitro tests that demonstrate satisfactory vaccine efficacy against variants of concern. So why the need for a booster shot? It could be as simple as wanting to milk the vaccine cash cow.
Pfizer and Moderna are making billions from their COVID vaccines, but The Motley Fool recently said that the “vaccines might be too good.” That means that Wall Street won’t endorse these companies, based on the potential profit from vaccines, and that’s bad news for Pfizer and Moderna.
But what about patients? Pfizer has been beating the PR drum around booster shots, and of course, the media is using scare headlines rather than science. There will be people who are scared of COVID who will rush to get a booster shot, enriching Pfizer in the process, but what others? In the past year, both the FDA and CDC have made decisions that could question their credibility but will people trust Pfizer more?
Even if the coronavirus situation improves, boosters still will be needed as part of the companies’ planned vaccination regimens. So, for vaccine stock investors — and the companies themselves — revenue expectations are still very much on track. However, adding annual booster shots could provide a huge surge in profits for both Pfizer and Moderna. It’s so important to Pfizer that the CEO is meeting with the FDA.
Interestingly, in recent weeks, the Pfizer vaccine was only 64% effective in preventing coronavirus, according to Israel’s health ministry. But the vaccine’s performance was stronger when it comes to avoiding the worst. It was 93% effective at keeping people out of the hospital, the ministry reported.
People who rushed to get COVID shots booking appointments slid will undoubtedly rush to get booster shots, but we need better and clearer information from the FDA and local physicians. My doctor said she is waiting for more clinical data and has already had patients ask about a booster shot. It seems today, with health information, it’s up to patients to do their homework or rely on their doctor for accurate information.