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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 2 March 2021

BioNTech chief Ugur Sahin hopes for return to 'normal' by next winter once vaccine takes hold

‘Our goal is to deliver more than 300 million doses by April’

Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of German biotech firm BioNTech. Reuters
Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of German biotech firm BioNTech. Reuters

Life could return to normal by next winter if coronavirus vaccines are rolled out widely, according to a scientist working on one of the world’s front-running programmes.

Ugur Sahin, the Turkish co-founder of German firm BioNTech, told the BBC that “this winter will be hard” without any major contribution from vaccinations.

BioNTech is developing the leading candidate in the worldwide chase for a vaccine together with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

"If all goes well, we will start to deliver the vaccine at the end of this year or beginning of next year," said Mr Sahin.

"Our goal is to deliver more than 300 million doses by April next year, which could already have an impact."

He predicted the infection rate will then go down in the summer and said he was confident there would be a high take-up of the vaccination by the autumn.

A number of vaccine companies are working to increase supply "so we could have a normal winter next (year)", he said.

Mr Sahin and his wife, Ozlem Tureci, founded BioNTech in the western German city of Mainz in 2008. The company forged a partnership in March with American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

The announcement on Monday that their vaccine was more than 90 per cent effective in trials sent stock markets soaring. BioNTech is now worth $25.8 billion more than Germany's largest lender Deutsche Bank.

Published: November 15, 2020 10:26 PM

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