BioNTech scientist claims vaccine will lead to ‘normal winter’ next year

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The scientist behind what could be the first Covid-19 vaccine to clear trials is predicting that its development can help bring life back to normal by the end of next year.

In an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Uğur Şahin, the co-founder of the German company BioNTech – which is working on the vaccine with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer – said that the impact of the vaccine the company is developing would likely start to be felt next summer.

Last week, BioNTech and Pfizer had announced that preliminary analysis had shown that the vaccine could prevent more than 90% of people from getting Covid-19.

Şahin also said that that the vaccine could also reduce the transmission of the disease, though probably not as much as 90%. But he was confident that transmission could be reduced by around half, resulting in a dramatic reduction in new cases: certainty about the vaccine candidate’s impact would only likely arrive next year, however.

The two companies are hoping to be able to distribute 300 million doses of the vaccine by April, with the first injections taking place next month.

This would thus be too late to have a significant impact on the ongoing second wave of the pandemic sweeping across Europe and the Americas, but Şahin said that it would help bring about a normal winter next year.