One of the scientists behind Pfizer-BioNTech’s promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate says the potential cure could return the world to “normal” by next winter.
BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said Sunday that if high vaccination rates are achieved by the end of next year, the course of the pandemic could be changed, the BBC reported.
“I’m confident that this will happen, because a number of vaccine companies have been asked to increase the supply, and so that we could have a normal winter next year,” Sahin said.
Sahin said the goal was to deliver hundreds of millions of doses worldwide by spring, which could “already start to make an impact” in preventing people from falling ill with the virus.
“The bigger impact will [not] happen until summer. The summer will help us anyway because the infection rate will go down,” he said.
“What is absolutely essential is that we get a high vaccination rate until or before autumn [or] winter next year.”
He said it was “extremely relieving” to receive the recent news that preliminary results indicated that the vaccine is more than 90 percent effective.
“We now know that our vaccine works, and most likely other vaccines will also work,” Sahin said.
“So this is really a message which not only changes how we develop vaccines, but also increases the likelihood that we will be able to get this pandemic under control.”