Oct 4 (LiveMint) – BioNTech SE Chief Executive Officer Ugur Sahin, whose company developed the first Covid-19 vaccine along with Pfizer, said a new formula will probably be needed by mid-2022 to protect against future virus mutations, the Financial Times reported.
Ugur Sahin told the Financial Times that while current variants of Covid-19, such as the contagious delta strain, were not different enough to undermine current vaccinations, new strains will emerge that can evade booster shots and the body’s immune defenses.
“This year [a different vaccine] is completely unneeded, but by mid-next year, it could be a different situation,” he said. “This is a continuous evolution, and that evolution has just started.”
“This virus will stay, and the virus will further adapt,” he said.
BioNTech partnered with U.S. pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer Inc. to develop its Covid-19 vaccine. Last month, the companies submitted initial data to U.S. regulators about the use of the vaccine in children aged 5 to 11, one step closer to bringing shots to school-age kids.
Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said the U.S. is turning the corner on its latest surge in cases. He urged more Americans to get vaccinated after the country’s pandemic death toll passed 700,000.
Fauci said that while the full-vaccination rate has reached 55%, the key risk is the 70 million eligible people in the U.S. who haven’t gotten a shot.
Fauci dismissed attempts to blame immigrants and tourists for the spread of Covid in the U.S., a belief held by 37% of Americans overall and 55% of Republicans, according to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.