The CEO of BioNTech, Ugur Sahin, said that the company is open to working with others to increase the production capacity for its covid-19 vaccine. The company has developed the vaccine in collaboration with Pfizer. The vaccine has received emergency use authorization by the FDA and is currently being used for the mass vaccination program across the US.
Apart from that, the vaccine is also used by hospitals in the UK. The company officials had said that they are also working on testing the efficiency of the vaccine on the new coronavirus strain found in the UK.
The team needs about a few weeks time to complete the testing, and they will be in a position to clarify if the existing vaccine offers protection against the new coronavirus strain. This will be a huge relief for the health experts as the new strain is spreading at a faster pace when compared to the original one.
BioNTech CEO Says Will Work With Others To Boost Vaccine Capacity
The new strain of coronavirus detected in the UK is going beyond the control, and a huge surge in the number of infections is seen in the last few weeks. The government authorities also admitted that the new strain was more dangerous than the original one as it was 70% more transmissible when compared to the original strain of coronavirus.
However, the new strain is not more deadly when compared to the original one, and most people experienced the same symptoms as that of the infection caused by the original coronavirus strain.
Sahin said that the company plans to distribute 1.3billion doses of its vaccine by the end of next year. He also added that close to 70% of the world needs to be vaccinated before things can get back to normal. At this stage, experts say that herd immunity can be reached, and the coronavirus will not be able to lead to a large number of infections in any place. When the virus is not able to easily sustain, the chain will get broken and it is likely that the virus will fade out in the long run.
Sahin said that they plan to produce more than 1 billion doses next year, and the vaccines would be distributed to over 80 countries across the world. He added that the production of vaccines is a complex process, and they are willing to cooperate with companies in order to increase the production capacity in the near future. The company said that they would be able to disclose further details in the next two months even though they do not have a guaranteed plan at the moment.
The vaccine distribution program has started across the US, and all the states have received doses of vaccines from the Federal government. Currently, hospitals across the US are distributing the vaccines to Frontline health workers. Close to 2 million people have been vaccinated so far in the country, and the numbers are likely to increase in the near future as more doses become available to the hospitals. The Federal government has distributed close to 10 million doses of vaccine to the hospitals, and the distribution is likely to increase manifolds in the next few weeks.
Apart from the hospitals, nursing homes and other vaccination centers will also be given the required supply of vaccines in the next few weeks. In this way, the mass vaccination program will get a huge boost, and they will be able to extend the immunizations to a larger segment of people.
The company is also working hard to collaborate with other vaccine makers in order to boost the production capacity. This is the need of the hour as the entire world is struggling with a shortage of vaccines at the moment.