"I am concerned," he said. "We saw it…last time. And we see always when there are gatherings because of the holidays, in winter particularly, that this is happening. So it's very likely to see it, yes, particularly in places that…people are not having high rates of vaccinations."
The head of the pharmaceutical giant said the vaccine is still important despite his company's development of a COVID pill, and those who choose to take a coronavirus treatment pill rather than undergo vaccination are making a "very big mistake."
"The goal here is to prevent the disease and not to treat," he added.
The prevalence of masking measures, COVID booster shots and lockdowns will vary by state in the future, Bourla said. In states with a "good vaccination rate, none of that will be needed," he remarked, saying "we should and will be able to move back to the normal way of living lives."
He predicted the three-series vaccine will persist "for at least a year," followed by annual revaccinations comparable to the flu shot. Such revaccinations "will maintain our immune responses very, very high," he said.
Bourla also said, "We need to have boosters."
As Moderna is embroiled in an intellectual property dispute with the National Institutes of Health, the Pfizer kingpin said he does not think his competitor's spat will change how companies work with government researchers in the future.
He said that "the rules of the game are very clear," and "if someone is part of the invention, he should be named irrelevant where he or she belongs, in which organization."