Washington: Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Monday said he believed life would return to normal within the next year even though new variants of COVID-19 are likely to continue to emerge around the globe.
"Within a year I think we will be able to come back to normal life," Bourla was quoted as saying in an interview on ABC's "This Week."
However, "I don't think that this means that the variants will not continue coming, and I don't think that this means that we should be able to live our lives without having vaccinations," Bourla said. "But that, again, remains to be seen."
Bourla's statement is in line with Moderna chief Stephane Bancel, who last week said that the pandemic will get over in a year.
Even former Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb has said that the current wave of Covid-19 cases driven by the Delta coronavirus variant is going to be the end of Covid, but it may linger around as an endemic.
As a result, Bourla suggested it is likely annual coronavirus vaccine shots will be needed, CNBC reported.
"The most likely scenario for me is that because the virus is spread all over the world, that it will continue seeing new variants that are coming out," Bourla said.
"Also we will have vaccines that will last at least a year, and I think the most likely scenario is annual vaccination, but we don't know really, we need to wait and see the data," he noted.
Last week, the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr Rochelle Walensky authorised the distribution of Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid-19 booster shots for those in high-risk occupational and institutional settings, a move that overruled an advisory panel.
Walensky approved distributing the booster shots to older Americans and adults with underlying medical conditions at least six months after their first series of shots, in line with the advisory panel, the report said.
Meanwhile, a slew of scientists and the World Health Organization strongly opposes a widespread rollout of booster shots, saying wealthier nations should give extra doses to countries with minimal vaccination rates.