Professor Ugur Sahin, co-founder of BioNTech and the scientist behind the 90 percent effective Coronavirus vaccine said in an interview that he believes the first significant impact of the jab will be felt in summer 2021, and by next winter people will get back to their normal lives.
But the scientist behind the Pfizer jab also warned that the next few months will be quite tough, while the first wave of the COVID-19 vaccine is not likely to have a large impact on Coronavirus cases and deaths. Prof Sahin believes that the vaccine can reduce the transmission and stop the symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 infection.
He told BBC in a recent interview that transmission between people will be reduced by such a highly effective vaccine--maybe not 90 percent but 50 percent at least. "But we should not forget that even that could result in a dramatic reduction of the pandemic spread," he added.
What Is Essential?
According to the scientist, it is important to get a high vaccination rate before autumn or winter 2021. "I'm confident that this will happen, because a number of vaccine companies have been asked to increase the supply, and so that we could have a normal winter next year," he said.
The goal is to deliver more than 300 million vaccine doses worldwide by the next April and all immunization programs need to be completed before next year autumn to avoid another bleak winter, which is known to fuel the spread of any virus as people spend more time indoors.
Like other experts, Prof Sahin also warned about the coming winter and said that "this winter will be hard". But he hopes that if everything goes well "we will start to deliver the vaccine end of this year, beginning next year".
The Efficacy and Side-Effects
About the vaccine's efficacy on older people, Prof Sahin said that he expected to have a better idea in the next three weeks. According to him, it is also yet to be discovered how long immunity would last after the second jab. But according to him, a booster immunization should not be very complicated if it was noticed that immunity was reduced after one year.
The "key side effects" of the Pfizer vaccine seen so far were mild or moderate pain in the injection site for a few days, he said but some participants, involved in trails, also had a mild to moderate fever over a similar period. He also clearly stated that "we did not see any other serious side effects which would result in pausing or halting of the study."