Pfizer CEO Bourla tests positive for COVID, has ‘very mild symptoms’

Coronavirus vaccine pioneer confident he will make a speedy recovery after taking his firm’s virus treatment drug, says he’s ‘thankful’ to be quadruple-vaccinated

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla speaks, ahead of the G-7 summit in St. Ives, England, June 10, 2021. (Patrick Semansky/AP)
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla speaks, ahead of the G-7 summit in St. Ives, England, June 10, 2021. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, whose US pharmaceutical firm developed a leading vaccine against COVID-19, announced Monday that he tested positive for the disease for the first time.

In a statement from Pfizer, Bourla, 60, said he was “thankful” to be quadruple-vaccinated against the coronavirus, and that he is “feeling well, while experiencing very mild symptoms.”

“I am isolating in place, as well as following all public health precautions. I have started a course of PAXLOVID,” he said, referring to Pfizer’s coronavirus drug treatment.

“We have come so far in our efforts to battle this disease that I am confident I will have a speedy recovery,” Bourla said.

The statement noted that PAXLOVID has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, but has been authorized for emergency use in adults with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19.

Bourla, the son of Holocaust survivors, led his company to develop the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 in just nine months. Nearly 20 million lives were estimated to be saved by COVID-19 vaccines during the first year they became available.

Israel was one of the first countries to vaccinate its population against COVID-19, using Pfizer’s shot.

In June, Bourla received the $1 million Genesis Prize at a ceremony in Jerusalem, announcing that he would donate the funds towards a planned Holocaust Museum in Thessaloniki, Greece, where he was born.

The annual prize, awarded since 2014 by the Genesis Philanthropy Group, is given to “extraordinary individuals for their outstanding professional achievement, contribution to humanity, and commitment to Jewish values.”

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