WASHINGTON (SBG) - Pfizer and BioNTech have started the process to seek full approval from the Food and Drug Administration for their COVID vaccine.
“I think it's very helpful if they would get full approval soon because a number of the vaccine-hesitant people cite the fact that this vaccine came aboard so quickly and received emergency use authorization,” said Dr. Jeffrey Singer to The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat. “They think that corners were cut when in fact actually, it was very good trials that were done, and what was cut was a lot of red tape and that's why the vaccine was able to come on board more quickly.”
When it comes to whether or not those who are fully vaccinated will need booster shots down the road, Dr. Singer says more data is needed.
“We originally thought that we might need a booster shot within a year, but as we're continuing to monitor both the people who've been naturally infected as well as the people who receive vaccinations, it looks like the immunity is lasting for a while and it may last for more than a year, maybe two years,” said Dr. Singer.
Last week, some lawmakers and Pfizer’s CEO criticized President Biden’s decision to support removing patent protection of the vaccine.
“It will unleash a scramble for the critical inputs we require putting the safety and security of all at risk,” said Pfizer CEO Alber Bourla.
“I understand the reason behind suggesting it because they want to make it vaccine more available for developed countries, we need to get the whole world immune if we're going to defeat this thing,” said Dr. Singer. “On the other hand, intellectual property rights need to be respected. If patents are waived, that will destroy incentives for all the costly research and development that the pharmaceutical companies put into this.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday that COVID is spread primarily through droplets and airborne transmissions, not just close contact.
“We’ve known since the beginning, at least a year ago, that in poorly-ventilated, enclosed conditions, the virus can hang in the air,” said Dr. Singer. “The emphasis should have been on getting people outdoors where you don't need to wear a mask where spread is extremely uncommon because the virus dissipates in the air.”