Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla addresses a press convention after a go to to supervise the manufacturing of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine on the manufacturing facility of U.S. pharmaceutical firm Pfizer in Puurs, Belgium April 23, 2021.

John Thys | Pool | Reuters

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Tuesday mentioned the omicron variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 seems to be milder than earlier strains, but additionally appears to unfold quicker and will result in extra mutations sooner or later.

“I do not assume it is excellent news to have one thing that spreads quick,” Bourla advised The Wall Road Journal throughout an interview on the paper’s CEO Council Summit. “Spreads quick means will probably be in billions of individuals and one other mutation might come. You do not need that.”

White Home chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci mentioned stories over the weekend from South Africa recommend omicron will not be as extreme as initially feared, whereas noting that extra information is required to completely assess the danger posed by the variant.

The South African Medical Analysis Council, in a report launched on Saturday, mentioned most sufferers hospitalized with Covid over the previous two weeks on the Steve Biko/Tshwane District Hospital Advanced in Gauteng Province, the epicenter of the nation’s omicron outbreak, did not want supplemental oxygen. The report additionally famous that many sufferers have been admitted for different medical causes and have been then discovered to have Covid.

Bourla cautioned that it’s tough to attract conclusions from the wave of an infection in South Africa proper now. Simply 5% of South Africans are over the age of 60, and youthful folks usually have milder circumstances of Covid. Nonetheless, many individuals in South Africa are additionally HIV constructive, which might presumably result in extra extreme illness from Covid, he mentioned.

The Pfizer CEO mentioned he expects the variety of confirmed omicron circumstances to surge from dozens to thousands and thousands over the following few weeks.

“We could have a superb understanding to illustrate earlier than the yr finish as to what precisely it means for medical manifestation,” Bourla mentioned.

This can be a growing story. Please examine again for updates.