Pfizer Inc Chief Executive Albert Bourla on Monday said a redesigned Covid-19 vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron coronavirus variant is likely needed and his company could have one ready to launch by March.
Bourla said Pfizer and partner BioNTech SE are working on both an Omicron-targeted vaccine version as well as a shot that would include both the previous vaccine as well as one targeted at the fast-spreading variant.
"I think it is the most likely scenario," Bourla said, speaking at JP Morgan's annual healthcare conference, which is being held virtually this year. "We're working on higher doses. We're working different schedules. We're doing a lot of things right now, as we speak."
Bourla said Pfizer could be ready to file for US regulatory approval for a redesigned vaccine and launch it as soon as March. Bourla said Pfizer has built up so much manufacturing capacity for the vaccine that it will not be a problem to switch immediately.
Covid-19 vaccines eventually could be an annual shot for most people, Bourla said, and some high-risk groups might be eligible to receive the shots more often than that.