Pfizer’s CEO has tested positive for COVID-19, he announced on Aug. 15.
“I would like to let you know that I have tested positive for #COVID19,” CEO Albert Bourla wrote on Twitter.
Bourla 60, says he has received four doses of his company’s COVID-19 vaccine, which has proven increasingly ineffective against infection from the virus that causes COVID-19 and severe illness once a person contracts the virus.
Bourla reported experiencing mild symptoms. He did not identify any of the symptoms. He said he’s “feeling well.”
“We have come so far in our efforts to battle this disease that I am confident I will have a speedy recovery. I am incredibly grateful for the tireless efforts of my Pfizer colleagues who worked to make vaccines and treatments available for me and people around the world,” Bourla said.
The CEO is isolating and has begun taking a course of Paxlovid, Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill.
U.S. drug regulators granted emergency authorization for Paxlovid in December 2021 for people aged 12 and older who test positive for COVID-19 and are deemed high-risk for progression to a severe case.
Regulators have since curbed or revoked similar clearances for many other drugs, such as Regeneron’s monoclonal antibodies, citing data that indicate the treatments aren’t as effective, or aren’t effective at all, against newer virus variants.
Paxlovid has become the most-distributed COVID-19 treatment in the nation, and was administered to President Joe Biden after the president recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Biden, who has also received four doses of Pfizer’s shot, experienced a rebound of symptoms after testing negative, which is common for Paxlovid recipients.
Previously Promoted 100 Percent Efficacy
Bourla is among the officials who have previously promoted the COVID-19 vaccines as being 100 percent effective against infection.
In April 2021, for instance, he shared the results from a study that was said to show Pfizer’s vaccine was 100 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 cases in South Africa.
All COVID-19 vaccines, though, have been shown to be less effective against both infection and severe illness as newer virus variants have emerged.
Against Omicron, which became dominant in the United States and many other countries in late 2021, the vaccines provide little shielding against infection, and decreased protection against severe cases.
Emerging data indicate that Omicron subvariants are even better at evading vaccine-based protection.
Pfizer and Moderna are among the companies working on Omicron-specific booster shots. Those could be rolled out in the United States as soon as September.