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Pfizer CEO: Virus will be here for years, but this may be the last wave of restrictions

Pfizer chief Albert Bourla said Monday that while the "most likely scenario" is that coronavirus will circulate for many years to come, he believes the current wave of infections will be the last to require restrictions.

Bourla gave an interview with the French outlet BFM TV to mark the announcement of an investment package from the pharmaceutical company in France.

Bourla also highlighted the effectiveness and safety of the vaccines, saying he believed people would continue to require booster shots.

"It is important that people receive the three-dose regimen of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine, and are likely to require annual boosters thereafter, even if immunocompromised ones could require them every four months," Bourla said. "Children need to be vaccinated to protect them. Its effectiveness in children is very, very, very good. ”

Bourla also said that the company's anti-COVID pill, Paxlovid, is "changing everything" as a new way of fighting serious illness. Pfizer said in December that their Paxlovid pill reduced hospital admissions and deaths of vulnerable people by nearly 90 percent.

In the interview, Bourla said that the company made a plan that would involve an investment of 520 million euros ($ 593.7 million) in France over the next five years, which will include a partnership with the French company Novasep to develop an anti -COVID pill treatment.

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People wearing face mask at a farmers market in Saint Jean de Luz, southwestern France, January 14, 2022 (AP Photo / Bob Edme)

France, like many other countries, is facing a record number of infections driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant.

France's parliament on Sunday approved a law that would exclude unvaccinated people from all restaurants, sports arenas and other venues, the central goal of the government's efforts to protect mid-wave hospitals.

The government of French President Emmanuel Macron hopes the move will be enough to limit the number of patients filling strained hospitals nationwide without resorting to a new closure.

More than 76% of French intensive care units are occupied by virus patients, most of them unvaccinated, and about 200 people with the virus die every day. Like many countries, France is in the grip of the Omicron variant and has registered more than 2,800 positive cases per year. 100,000 people over the past week.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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