The head of BioNTech, the German company behind the first COVID-19 vaccine, said that the world will likely need new vaccines next year to protect against mutations of the virus.
Ugur Sahin, CEO of BioNTech, told the Financial Times that while current vaccines can stop current variants of COVID-19 such as the Delta strain, new variants that can evade current immune defenses will emerge next year.
“This year [a different vaccine] is completely unneeded, but by mid-next year, it could be a different situation,” Sahin said, adding that the virus has only started evolving.
Sahin warned that the virus “will stay, and the virus will further adapt,” requiring new versions of COVID-19 vaccines that will specifically target the mutated strains.
Nonetheless, Sahin said that he expects that the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine will still be needed in the coming years.
BioNTech, along with Pfizer, created the first COVID-19 vaccine which was also the first to receive full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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