COVID-19 Vaccine Creator Says Normal Life Will Resume Next Winter
One of the creators behind the COVID-19 vaccine says life should return to normal by next winter.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination made headlines recently as news emerged of its 90% efficacy in immunising the virus, with the UK government placing an order of 30 million doses.
While it’s still in its final stages of testing and pending approval from regulators, it’s being earmarked for its first rollout in December this year.
Check out the interview below:
Professor Ugur Sahin, BioNTech co-founder, appeared on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show to discuss the new vaccine. While airing caution over the figures, he’s confident in its effectiveness in helping curb infection rates across the world.
Sahin told Marr: ‘I’m very confident that transmission between people will be reduced by such a highly effective vaccine – maybe not 90% but maybe 50% – but we should not forget that even that could result in a dramatic reduction of the pandemic spread.’
All processes going smoothly, the vaccine will be delivered by the ‘end of this year, beginning of next year’. The professor is looking at a goal of 300 million doses by April 2021, which ‘could allow us to only start to make an impact’ and the potential for a ‘normal winter’.
He continued: ‘Summer will help us because the infection rate will go down in the summer and what is absolutely essential is that we get a high vaccination rate until or before autumn/winter next year.’
In an earlier conversation with BBC Radio 4, SAGE’s Professor Sir John Bell said we’d see life return to normal by spring next year. ‘I’m probably the first guy to say that but I will say that with some confidence,’ he said.
Bell continued: ‘I am really delighted with this result – it shows that you can make a vaccine against this little critter. 90% is an amazing level of efficacy. It rolls the pitch for other vaccines because I can’t see any reason now why we shouldn’t have a handful of good vaccines.’
However, there are no plans for the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency to rush out the vaccine. Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier urged people not to rely on this news ‘as a solution… the biggest mistake we could make now would be to slacken our resolve at a critical moment’.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock earlier said he’d asked the NHS ‘to be ready from the start of December’. He added: ‘Of course, there are many hurdles that still need to be gone over and we haven’t seen the full safety data, and obviously that is critical.’
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