BioNTech CEO: Our coronavirus vaccine can end the pandemic


The German biotech company BioNTech is behind one of the main candidate vaccines against the coronavirus, having developed it jointly with the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer. And according to its CEO, the 90% effective vaccine candidate is on the verge of ending the global pandemic. The Guardian On Zoom, BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said he was optimistic about the vaccine’s success. “If the question is whether we can stop this pandemic with this vaccine, then my answer is: yes, because I believe that even protection against symptomatic infections will have a dramatic effect,” he told the British daily. Sahin explained that he wasn’t completely confident at first, but that all changed after the results of the Phase III trial were revealed last Monday. The way it works is by attacking the virus in several ways, first by preventing the virus from actually entering the body, and then by training its immune system to defend itself if it does. “The vaccine prevents COVID-19 from accessing our cells. But even if the virus does manage to find a way in, the T cells hit it on the head and kill it, ”he said. The Guardian. “We trained the immune system very well to perfect both of these defensive movements. We now know that the virus cannot defend itself against these mechanisms. However, there are still some questions about the vaccine, such as the duration of immunity elicited by the vaccine. Sahin explained to The Guardian, however, that “studies in patients with COVID-19 have shown that those with a strong immune response still have this response after six months. I could imagine we could be safe for at least a year.

Candidate Pfizer-BioNTech is seen as one of the most likely to win the vaccine race, with countries around the world trying to find a way to end the pandemic that has been raging since late 2019. Following their results phase III trial revealed last Monday. The Israeli government also took note, with the government signing a formal contract on Friday to receive eight million doses in January if it succeeds. “This is a great day for the State of Israel and a great day on our way to victory over the coronavirus,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday. “Today we see a light at the end of the tunnel.” But other candidate vaccines also look promising. One of them, the American company Moderna, is also convinced that its candidate will be just as good or better than its competitors, its chief medical officer Tal Zaks explaining at the end of October that “our vaccine creates antibodies in the body … which means that in addition to being a preventive vaccine, our product can also be used as a treatment for people who have already been infected. We have shown that the product prevents the virus from replicating and improves the patient’s condition. Likewise, Israel also signed an agreement with Moderna, and the Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem signed a memorandum of understanding with Russia to receive its Sputnik V vaccine candidate, which is said to have an efficacy rate of 92%.Maayan Hoffman and Tobias Siegal contributed to this report.


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