Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla admitted on Tuesday that its likely at some point, a new variant of COVID-19 will emerge that renders the vaccines they are producing totally useless.
“Every time that the variant appears in the world, our scientists are getting their hands around it,” Bourla told Fox News in an interview. “They are researching to see if this variant can escape the protection of our vaccine. We haven’t identified any yet but we believe that it is likely that one day, one of them will emerge.”
Bourla has made a similarly menacing prediction in the past. He addressed the issue in a wide-ranging interview with Fortune in February, around the time when attention was increasingly turning to new mutations of the virus.
Responding to a question about the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against emerging variants, Bourla said he was “quite confident” it could neutralize the new mutations and cited encouraging lab results.
At the same time, he said that “the fundamental question” is how likely it is that there will eventually emerge a vaccine-resistant strain of coronavirus.
“Theoretically, it’s a very possible scenario. If you protect a very big part of the population, and if there is a strain that emerges that can use this pool of population to replicate while the current strains cannot, obviously this will overtake the original. So it’s not a certainty, but it is now, I believe, a likely scenario,” he said.
At the time, Bourla told Fortune that the mRNA technology used in the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine allows for the rapid development of a new version able to create a different immunogenicity that could cover new mutations. He predicted that such a vaccine could be developed in around two months but noted this would depend on multiple factors including the regulatory framework.
Bourla’s Tuesday interview with Fox News came on the same day that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported new data shedding more light on vaccine effectiveness against the Delta variant.
Based on a study of 4,217 fully vaccinated participants, the CDC report confirmed that vaccines were already far less effective (66%) against the Delta variant than in previous strains.
The interview also comes just a day after the Food and Drug administration questionably approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people 16 and older, making it the first such shot to make it beyond the emergency-use-only stage.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, reacted to the full FDA approval on Tuesday, telling NBC News’ “TODAY” that survey results indicated some 30% of unvaccinated individuals reluctant to receive shots would seriously consider vaccination following full FDA approval of the vaccine.
He also anticipated “much more enthusiasm” in vaccine mandates across corporations, universities and the military, while also noting that Pfizer can now advertise the shot given the full approval.
But the Pfizer CEO’s admission that the vaccine will likely be useless in the future should have people questioning things like forced vaccines and vaccine passports if they weren’t already.
Author: Harrison Tomland