Former President Trump on Wednesday expressed skepticism of Covid booster shots, saying a third dose of vaccine ‘sounds like a money-making operation.’
‘You know what, that sounds to me like a money-making operation for Pfizer, okay, think of the money involved. That’s tens of billions of dollars,’ Trump told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo.
‘If you’re a pure businessman you’ll say, “You know what, let’s give them another shot, $10 billion of money coming in,” the whole thing is crazy.’
The former president, who unceremoniously received his Covid-19 vaccine in January, continued: ‘When these first came out they were good for life. Now they’re only good for a year or two. And I could see the writing on the wall.’
‘I could see the dollar signs in their eyes— of that guy that runs Pfizer. You know, the guy that announced the day after election that he had the vaccine. But we knew that, and I knew that, and the people knew that.’
Pfizer submitted its request for emergency use authorization on Nov. 20.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was paid over $21 million in 2020. He made $17.9 million from his job with the drug giant in 2019, the year before the pandemic.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, above, was paid over $21 million in 2020, as the drug giant was developing its Covid-19 vaccine
‘When these first came out they were good for life. Now they’re only good for a year or two. And I could see the writing on the wall,’ Trump said
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave emergency approval for booster shots for immunocompromised Americans, and the White House on Wednesday recommended booster shots for all who received Pfizer and Moderna eight months after their first round of shots.
Officials cited a the waning immunity the current crop of COVID-19 vaccines have, combined with the Indian Delta variant’s ability to cause breakthrough cases as the reason why boosters are needed.
This means that the nearly 155 million Americans who received two doses of the M-RNA vaccines could receive a third dose as early as September. Doses would only be administered after the vaccines are given formal approval.
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden and the first lady will be getting booster shots if they are recommended.
‘Certainly if they are recommended, once a formal announcement or briefing is done, they will certainly plan to follow the guidelines,’ Psaki said.
They are still weighing information about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to determine whether recipients will need another jab.
Officials recommend that patients take a third jab from the same maker of their first and second.
The expected recommendation is a reversal from the CDC’s statement last week telling Americans they did not need a booster shot at that time. The statement came after Pfizer announced it would seek FDA approval for the third jab.
The World Health Organization has called for a moratorium on Covid-19 vaccine boosters until all nations can vaccinate at least 15 percent of their population.
Psaki said it was a ‘false choice’ to assume the US could not dole out boosters while the global vaccination rate remains low.
‘We can do both,’ Psaki said. ‘And the United States is far and away the biggest contributor to the global supply, the global fight against COVID. We will continue to be the arsenal for vaccines around the world.’
‘We also have enough supply and have long planned for enough supply should it be needed for the eligible population,’ the press secretary added.
However, third doses are currently approved in several countries including Chile, France, Germany and Israel.
Israel, which exclusively administered the Pfizer shot, has been offering a booster to people over 60 who were already vaccinated more than five months ago in an effort to control its own surge in cases from the Delta variant.
France and Germany have also approved third doses for vulnerable populations with plans to start administering the shots next month.