The founders of the German laboratory BioNTech, responsible for one of the main vaccines against coronavirus covid-19, believe that the pandemic may last until mid-2022, when they expect all regions to have achieved a high level of vaccinations and herd immunity.
“By mid-2022, even densely populated regions like India will have achieved high vaccination rates and herd immunity,” assured the main person in charge of the firm, Ugur Sahin, in an event organized by The Wall Street Journal.
According to Sahin, the next 12 months will see a growing number of countries – both developed and developing – achieve that herd immunity thanks to vaccines.
Sahin pointed out that in places like Europe and the United States, the pandemic is already beginning to be under control thanks to vaccines and the continuity of social distancing measures, while infections increase in places like India, where there are far fewer vaccinated and it is more difficult to maintain social distancing.
“We have to ensure really high vaccination rates around the world. Otherwise, no one will be safe “, stressed the co-founder and CEO of BioNTech, who considered that the pandemic will not end until there is herd immunity throughout the world.
Sahin, whose firm partnered with US company Pfizer for the production of its vaccine, explained that his company is expanding its manufacturing alliance to produce more doses that can help countries like India, where cases have recently skyrocketed.
His wife and BioNTech co-founder Özlem Türeci pointed out that it may be necessary to combine different types of vaccines, including messenger RNA vaccines like his company’s with others like AstraZeneca‘s, to accelerate immunization around the world.
“The more vaccines we have available, the better … Obviously in principle we can mix and match them,” said Türeci, who is BioNTech’s chief medical officer.