A new vaccine “tailored” to target next-generation Covid-19 will likely be needed by the middle of 2022, according to the head of BioNTech, the biotechnology company that developed the Pfizer shot.
The German firm’s CEO, Uğur Şahin, told the Financial Times that Covid-19 variants such as the Delta strain were more contagious but could be tackled by booster shots of current vaccines.
However, he added that mutations would emerge that could slip past the body’s vaccine-acquired immune defenses.
“This year, [a different vaccine] is completely unneeded. But by mid next year, it could be a different situation,” Sahin said, adding that “tailored” versions of current vaccines would be needed to specifically target the new strains that emerge.
“This virus will stay, and the virus will further adapt,” he said.
“We have no reason to assume that the next-generation virus will be easier to handle for the immune system than the existing generation. This is a continuous evolution, and that evolution has just started.”
Vaccination programs will feature two main streams by next year, Sahin predicted, with booster shots for those already inoculated and a continued campaign to get the vaccines to those who have had minimal access to them thus far.
A number of vaccine developers, including BioNTech and US pharma major Pfizer – which helped bring the company’s mRNA vaccine to the market – have been under pressure to share patents and technology to allow wider production of vaccines.
While Sahin claimed patent-sharing posed no risks to quality control, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has repeatedly argued that waiving intellectual property rights would disincentivize innovation. However, critics such as former US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Tom Frieden have accused pharma companies of “war-profiteering.”
Sahin declined to forecast how the Pfizer vaccine would be priced in the future, but told the newspaper that it would still be needed in the coming years.
According to the co-founder of BioNTech Dr Ugur Sahin, the COVID-19 vaccine he designed for Pfizer was designed in just few hours in a single day on January 25, 2020.
No other vaccine in history has been created and manufactured so quickly. Previously, the fastest vaccine ever developed took more than four years.
Meanwhile, new research from Trinity College Dublin and University of Edinburgh found more evidence that vitamin D protects against severe COVID-19 disease and death.
According to a whistleblower nearly 50000 patients died soon in 14 days after getting COVID vaccine shot. ‘They are lying. There is no question they are lying,’ said Attorney Renz. ‘The mantra of ‘safe and effective’ must stop after today’s information.’