Photo credit: Stefan Albrecht / BioNTech / CC-BY-SA 4.0

BioNTech CEO: We may need to develop new vaccines in 2022

The CEO of pharmaceutical giant BioNTech has said that soon Covid-19 may mutate to evade the body’s immune defences, requiring a new vaccine to be developed by mid-next year.

Ugur Sahin, head of the German company, told the Financial Times that while at this point a new vaccine was “completely unneeded,” by mid-next year “it could be a different situation.”

“This virus will stay, and the virus will further adapt,” he said.

“We have no reason to assume that the next generation virus will be easier to handle for the immune system than the existing generation. This is a continuous evolution, and that evolution has just started.”

He argued that for the time being, variants such as Delta were similar enough to the original Covid strain that existing vaccines could deal with them sufficiently. He also added that booster jabs seemed to be effective at suppressing the virus.

However, he claimed that sooner or later new evolutions of the disease would emerge requiring “tailored” vaccines specifically for that variant.

BioNTech partnered with Pfizer to create the first ever Covid-19 vaccine, and the first mRNA jab to win regulatory approval. It has been the world’s top-selling drug in 2021.

Last week Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said that annual vaccinations would be required going forward in order to return to normal life.

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