LONDON – As the world grapples with the pandemic amid the origin of newer and potentially lethal strains, BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin has said that the deadly virus is going to stay with us for the next decade at least.In a virtual press conference this week, Sahin spoke about the potential virus deadline when asked when life could return to normal.
“We need a new definition of normal. The virus will stay with us for the next 10 years,” he told mediapersons.
BioNTech’s vaccine, developed with the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, has been authorised for use in more than 45 countries, including Britain and the US.
Sahin also said that the vaccine can be adjusted for the new UK variant in about six weeks.
“In principle, the beauty of the messenger technology is that we can directly start to engineer a vaccine which completely mimics this new mutation – we could be able to provide a new vaccine technically within six weeks,” he was quoted as saying in media reports.
Sahin said he was confident that the new variant of the Covid-19 strain in the UK would not impact the efficacy of the vaccine. The new strain of Covid is causing worry all around the world including in India, and it remains to be seen what effect it could have.
After the discovery of a second new variant of the novel coronavirus in Britain, the UK has reported the highest number of Covid-19 fatalities this week, since late April.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the second new variant was reportedly related to travellers from South Africa, and two cases have been reported so far.
“This new variant is highly concerning because it is yet more transmissible and it appears to have mutated further than the new variant that has been discovered in the UK,” he said this week.
On December 19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the discovery of a first mutant Covid-19 strain which is said to be about 70 per cent more transmissible. As a result, Johnson imposed Tier Four restrictions on London and other parts of England. -IANS