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Expert reveals why some people have already had a fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot

Dr. Scott Gottlieb explained why there are fourth COVID-19 vaccine shots already out there

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Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine syringes for children.

Prepared Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine syringes for children ages 5 to 11 and adults are displayed on a table at Northwest Community Church in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021.

Nam Y. Huh, Associated Press

Some people across the world have received a fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot, and it might happen more often as we move through winter into next year.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration who serves on Pfizer’s board, said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that there are people getting fourth COVID-19 vaccine shots, mostly due to their compromised immune systems.

  • And in fact, we know that some people who are immunocompromised organ transplant patients, for example, doctors are prescribing multiple doses for those patients because we know they don’t get a good response to vaccines generally,” Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb said that Israel has been looking at making a fourth shot available “to a subset of the population who have immune related disorders.”

The comments came after Pfizer Chairman Albert Bourla said on CNBC that a fourth shot will likely be necessary to slow the spread, especially with the omicron variant.

  • “I think we will need the fourth dose,” he said on CNBC. “I was projecting that that will be in 12 months after the third dose. With omicron,” he said, “we may need it faster.”

Gottlieb said on “Face the Nation” that an annual shot might be needed.

  • “I do think that this is going to be for a period of time, something that we have to get revaccinated for on an annual basis, in part because immunity wanes and in part because it’s going to drift over time,” he said.