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Pfizer CEO says all adults may need 4th vaccine dose; Indiana doctor explains why

Syringes loaded with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine lie ready for use by a nurse, in Jackson, Miss., on Sept. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Declining antibodies, emerging new variants and staying ahead of the next surge–those are the reasons Pfizer executive Albert Bourla says it’s only a matter of time before we’ll be rolling up our sleeves yet again for what will become a 4th coronavirus shot

News 8 spoke with Dr. Shaun Grannis, vice president of data and analytics at the Regenstrief Institute, to get his reaction to Bourla’s announcement and why the number of shots continues to pile on. 

“We’ve been seeing data–the groups that we are working with and the teams we have–shows the vaccine effectiveness does wane with time,” he said “The effectiveness with the booster or the third dose greatly reduces hospitalizations and ER visits–the more severe outcomes. That’s where the protection lies. And even with waning we continue to see good protection there. But it is waning.”

Grannis says it’s not clear when or if the FDA will authorize the 4th shot for the general public. But based on his scientific analysis he estimates it will be recommended anywhere from  4 to 6 months after the booster. 

He goes on to say we’ve only been studying vaccine effectiveness for a little over a year. He hopes once we better understand the virus and our immunization processes improve, the COVID-19 vaccine will likely become a yearly immunization just like the flu.