Uğur Şahin, CEO of German biotech firm BioNTech, which partnered with Pfizer in developing the coronavirus vaccine, said that the coronavirus will continue for the next ten years.
Asked at a virtual press conference over the weekend whether he believes the world will be able to return to normal, Şahin responded: “We need a new definition of normal. The virus will stay with us for the next 10 years and we have to get used to further outbreaks.”
Şahin also said that the vaccine will be able to be adjusted for the new virus variant in about six weeks.
“In principle, the beauty of the messenger technology is that we can directly begin engineering a vaccine which completely mimics this new mutation – we could be able to provide a new vaccine technically within six weeks,” he said. “The vaccine contains more than 1,270 amino acids, and only nine of them are changed [in the mutant virus]. That means that 99% of the protein is still the same.”
Şahin, the son of Turkish immigrants to Germany, co-founded BioNTech with his wife Özlem Türeci, who was born in Germany to Turkish parents.
The couple are among the hundred wealthiest people in German, with an estimated net worth of $5.2 billion, according to a 2020 Forbes report.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)