Johnson & Johnson CEO Says Americans Will Have to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters for “Several Years” and May Receive an Annual Flu Shot
- Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky on Wednesday says Americans are likely to need COVID vaccine boosters for “several years”
- He said the boosters serve to protect against variants and can be given alongside annual flu shots
- Public health experts believe COVID-19 is likely to become an endemic disease, meaning it will always be present in the population but circulate at low rates
- Gorsky also said he believes J&J will play a role in controlling the global pandemic despite the company’s setbacks.
Johnson & Johnson CEO said on Wednesday he believes people are likely to need COVID-19 vaccine boosters for years to come.
During the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Health conference, Alex Gorsky said that not enough people have been vaccinated around the world to prevent the spread of highly infectious variants.
Until that happens, he says Americans may need a yearly injection, just like they do with the flu shot.
“We could look into this labeling alongside the flu shot, probably in the next few years,” Gorsky said.
On Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said Americans are likely to need COVID vaccine boosters for “several years.” Pictured: Gorsky at the South Court Auditorium, near the White House, March 2021
He said the boosters serve to protect against variants and can be given alongside annual flu shots (image from J&J COVID-19 vaccine file)
Public health experts have previously said they believe COVID-19 will become an endemic disease.
This means that it will always be present in the population but circulating at low rates.
Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have each initiated clinical trials examining the effectiveness of coronavirus booster shots.
In Pfizer’s clinical trial, the potential booster will be given to participants six to 12 months after they are fully vaccinated.
The researchers will examine the volunteers after injecting the third dose a week later and a month later to see if they have developed neutralizing antibodies.
Meanwhile, Moderna’s clinical trial will test three different types of booster shots.
Two-thirds of the volunteers will be given two different doses of the booster and the other group will receive an injection that combines Moderna’s original vaccine and booster vaccination in a single dose.
This is not the first time Gorsky has made such comments.
In an interview with CNBC in February, Gorsky discussed how the COVID-19 vaccine could become a seasonal vaccine because the virus has continued to mutate.
‘Unfortunately, like [the virus] it spreads can also mutate, “Gorsky told host Meg Tirrell at a Healthy Returns Spotlight event.
‘Each time it mutates, it’s almost like another quadrant click, so to speak, where we can see another variant, another mutation that can impact its ability to reject antibodies or have a different type of response not only to a therapeutic but also to a vaccine ».
During the Tech Health Event, Gorsky also defended the company’s vaccine and said he believes J&J’s single-dose vaccine will play an important role in helping contain the pandemic despite some setbacks.
The company ran into supply problems after a manufacturing facility in Baltimore accidentally ruined 15 million doses.
Additionally, the stroke was suspended in April for 11 days after reports of rare blood clots, mainly in women.
“We still believe this will be a very important tool in general armament to help contain Covid and make a big difference to the world,” Gorsky said.