People around the world will need to get a hold of Covid-19 once a year, at least when it comes to the Pfizer vaccine, BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said in an interview on Sunday, praising the quality of its booster shot.
In an interview with the German newspaper Bild on Sunday, Sahin said that he believes that the vaccine, which was developed together by his company, is “very effective.”
On the question of whether people should be worried “breakthrough infections” – where those vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine still developed Covid-19 symptoms – he dismissed such concerns and said that jab offers a “90 percent protection” against cases that require intensive care for people over 60 years of age.
A “very loud” The level of protection against serious illness lasts for up to nine months, claimed BioNTech’s CEO. He said that this level is starting to decrease “from the fourth month”, though. To maintain protection, Sahin strongly pushed for booster shots, claiming that they would not only restore levels of antibodies but would potentially help “to break … chains of infection.”
He also encouraged doctors to be so “as pragmatic as possible” in the case of greenlighting vaccination and “not to send people home unvaccinated even though they could be vaccinated without problems.”
In the future, people may need to get booster shots once a year, believes BioNTech’s CEO. He said he expects protection from another booster shot “lasts longer” than the initial immunity obtained after receiving two doses of the vaccine.
“Subsequent vaccinations may only be needed each year – just like [with] influenza,” he said. Currently, the German Federal Center for Health Education – an agency under the Ministry of Health – recommends a booster syringe six months after receiving the second dose of a vaccine. It says so too “Booster vaccination makes sense after a minimum interval of about four months.”
Sahin’s interview comes days after it was revealed that Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna are making a combined profit of $ 65,000 every minute – all thanks to their Covid-19 jabs. This is according to estimates made by the People’s Vaccine Alliance (PVA) – a coalition that demands wider access to vaccines.
PVA calculated that the three companies will earn a total of $ 34 billion in total profits before tax this year alone, which roughly translates to more than $ 1,000 per second and $ 93.5 million a day.
PVA has criticized the three companies for their refusal to allow vaccine technology transfer despite receiving a total of $ 8 billion in public funding. Such a measure could increase global supply and save millions of lives and push down prices, the coalition said.
“Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna have used their monopolies to prioritize the most profitable contracts with the richest governments and leave low-income countries out in the cold.” said Maaza Seyoum from the African Alliance and the People’s Vaccine Alliance Africa.
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