Vaccine To Fight New Coronavirus Strain Can Be Made In 6 Weeks If Required: BioNTech
London: BioNTech is confident that the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with Pfizer will be effective against the new “UK” strain of the coronavirus. If required, a new vaccine can be made in just six weeks, BioNTech Chief Executive Ugur Sahin said.
After the EU approved the vaccine, the German pharma giant is gearing up to send 12.5 million doses to EU countries by the end of 2020.
About the new mutant strain, Sahin said, “Scientifically, it is highly likely that the immune response by this vaccine also can deal with the new virus variant. There is no reason to be concerned or worried until we get the data.”
“In principle, the beauty of the messenger technology is that we can directly start to engineer a vaccine which completely mimics this new mutation — we could be able to provide a new vaccine technically within six weeks,” he explained.
Pfizer and BioNTech are scheduled to produce 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
Sahin has estimated that 60-80 per cent of the global population could be vaccinated by autumn of 2021.
Moderna too is hoping that its vaccine will be effective against the new strain. “Based on the data to date, we expect that the Moderna vaccine-induced immunity would be protective against the variants recently described in the UK,” Moderna said in a statement. The US-based firm will be performing additional tests soon to confirm.