(Bloomberg) -- Pfizer Inc. will have more data on its vaccine’s ability to repel the omicron variant before the end of the year, according to Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla. 

Test results of immune-system evasion released Wednesday by Pfizer and partner BioNTech SE were obtained using a laboratory construct called a pseudovirus, Bourla said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power With David Westin.” The company is still working with the real virus and collecting evidence on how the vaccine performs in community use, he said. 

“We need to wait until we have real-world data to understand the effectiveness,” Bourla said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. However, he expects that a third booster dose will “do the job” in restoring high levels of protection.  

Initial lab studies show a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine may be needed to neutralize the omicron variant, Pfizer and BioNTech said earlier. The preliminary findings will accelerate booster-shot drives around the world, and may buy time for drugmakers to develop strain-specific vaccines. 

Read More: Third Dose of Pfizer-BioNTech Shot Key to Fight Elusive Omicron

Pfizer will have even more accurate lab data within one or two weeks, Bourla said, but real-world efficacy data will be the “final verdict,” helping to determine whether a new vaccine that specifically targets omicron is needed. The vaccine partners would be able to produce very large quantities of such a shot by March, Bourla said. 

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