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15 November 2020 20:31

Pfizer Ugur Sahin

Normal life will be back next winter, says vaccine creator

The impact of a new Covid vaccine will kick in significantly over summer and life should be back to normal by next winter, one of its creators has said. Prof Ugur Sahin, co-founder of BioNTech, said this winter would still be hard as the vaccine would not have a big impact on infection numbers. Last week, BioNTech and co-developers Pfizer said preliminary analysis showed their vaccine could prevent more than 90% of people from getting Covid-19. In an interview on BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Prof Sahin said he was confident the vaccine would reduce transmission between people as well as stop symptoms developing in someone who has had the vaccine. "I'm very confident that transmission between people will be reduced by such a highly effective vaccine – maybe not 90% but maybe 50% – but we should not forget that even that could result in a dramatic reduction of the pandemic spread," he added.

He said the bigger impact would happen later, adding: "Summer will help us because the infection rate will go down in the summer and what is absolutely essential is that we get a high vaccination rate until or before autumn/winter next year." Prof Sahin also said the "key side effects" of the vaccine seen so far were a mild to moderate pain in the injection site for a few days, while some participants had a mild to moderate fever over a similar period. The UK's National Statistician told Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday the change is "good news" - but said there remains an increase in the number of coronavirus cases. Professor Ugur Sahin, co-founder of BioNTech, who developed the vaccine alongside Pfizer, said he expects the first impact of the jab will be felt in the summer months. One of the scientists behind the first Covid-19 vaccine to clear interim clinical trials has said the impact of the jab will kick in next summer, and normality should return by next winter. Professor Ugur Sahin, chief executive of BioNTech, said it was "absolutely essential" to have a high vaccination rate before autumn next year to ensure a return to normal life next winter.

"If everything continues to go well, we will start to deliver the vaccine end of this year, beginning next year," Prof Sahin told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. Prof Sahin said on Sunday the "key side effects" seen so far were a mild to moderate pain in the injection site for a few days, while some of the participants had a mild to moderate fever for a similar period. He said fewer people choosing to take the jab due to online misinformation was "the last thing we want", while calling on the Government to deal with "some of the dangerous, nonsensical anti-vax stuff that we've seen spreading on social media". On Sunday, the Government said a further 168 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19. A SCIENTIST behind a landmark coronavirus vaccine has said he expects life to be back normal next winter.

Professor Ugur Sahin, co-founder of BioNTech, who developed the vaccine alongside Pfizer, said he expects the first significant impacts of the jab will be felt in the summer months. 4 Professor Ugur Sahin said life could be back to normal next winter Credit: PA:Press Association He said: "I'm very confident that transmission between people will be reduced by such a highly effective vaccine - maybe not 90% but maybe 50% - but we should not forget that even that could result in a dramatic reduction of the pandemic spread." The scientist added: "What is absolutely essential is that we get a high vaccination rate before autumn/winter next year, so that means all the immunisation, vaccination approaches must be accomplished before next autumn. "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." Prof Sahin said the goal is deliver more than 300million doses of the vaccine worldwide by next April. Mr Johnson said every death from the disease was a tragedy and that while the prospects of a vaccine and mass testing offered hope, it was essential people continued to observe social-distancing rules. Ugur Sahin, chief executive of BioNTech, whose Covid-19 vaccine co-led by Pfizer has shown 90 per cent effectiveness, said the companies were aiming to distribute 300 million doses of their candidate by April. Professor Sahin told the Sunday breakfast programme: "If everything continues to go well, we will start to deliver the vaccine end of this year, beginning next year." Mr Sahin said the goal was to deliver hundreds of millions of doses by spring, which could "already start to make an impact", with more notable effects seen during the summer. He added: "What is absolutely essential is that we get a high vaccination rate before autumn/winter next year, so that means all the immunisation, vaccination approaches must be accomplished before next autumn. "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."