Pfizer executives say patients who received their vaccine will likely need a third dose within a year of their initial vaccination.

That’s according to a New York Times report out this morning.

Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla said Thursday that a third dose would be followed by annual vaccinations.

“There are vaccines like polio where one dose is enough, and there are vaccines like flu that you need every year, ” Bourla said during a conversation hosted by CVS Health. “The Covid virus looks more like the influenza virus than the polio virus.”

The report says Bourla expounded on his claim.

Mr. Bourla said that “a likely scenario” is “a third dose somewhere between six and 12 months, and from there it would be an annual re-vaccination.”

The New York Times also reports that other vaccine makers are getting a jump start on possible booster shots. According to their report, Moderna said it was at work on a booster for its vaccine. The paper also reported that Johnson & Johnson said its vaccine will probably need to be given annually.

So why are the drug companies now preparing for these booster shots? The new strains of the novel coronavirus are to blame. Federal officials say further vaccinations could better target mutant strains of COVID-19.

Despite this news, federal officials continue to urge Americans to get one of the available coronavirus vaccines. According to figures by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Wednesday, 37.3 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination. Those stats show 23.1 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

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