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Pfizer scientist expects seniors and those with underlying illnesses to be the first to receive booster shots of the Covid vaccine

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Healthcare worker gives Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine to cardiology patient Norman G. Einspruch, 88, as part of COVID-19 vaccination plan for the elderly at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, USA , December 30, 2020.

Marco Bello | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

High-risk groups such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions should be the first to receive booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, Pfizer’s scientific director told investors on Tuesday .

The two-dose vaccine was found to be around 95% effective against Covid two weeks after the second dose, although researchers who helped develop the vaccine now say they are starting to see this strong protection wane over time.

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Executives at Pfizer and BioNTech previously told UKTN that people will likely need a booster, or a third dose, of the Covid-19 vaccine within 12 months of being fully immunized. They also said that it is likely that people will need to receive additional injections each year.

During a call for results on Tuesday, Mikael Dolsten, Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer, said it made sense to start with those most susceptible, such as the elderly and those with chronic conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious illnesses and hospitalization, such as cardiovascular disease or asthma.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention makes recommendations to states on who should get vaccines first.

“We can’t predict” what the CDC will do, Dolsten said.

Dolsten’s comment comes after the company announced that sales of its Covid-19 vaccine had boosted its first quarter financial results.

The company now expects annual sales of the vaccine of $ 26 billion, up from its previous forecast of around $ 15 billion. He expects adjusted pre-tax profit in the high 20% of revenue range for the vaccine.

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“Based on what we have seen, we believe that sustained demand for our Covid-19 vaccine, similar to that of influenza vaccines, is a likely outcome,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told investors when calling for results.

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If Americans needed booster shots, the US government would likely have to make arrangements with drug manufacturers to provide additional doses and schedule vaccine distribution.

Last month, Andy Slavitt, senior advisor to President Joe Biden’s Covid response team, said the White House was preparing for the potential need for Covid-19 booster vaccines. He said the Biden administration had given some thought to the need to secure additional doses.

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