Ugur Sahin, co-founder of biotechnology company BioNTech, has reportedly expressed confidence that the company’s COVID-19 vaccine, which was jointly developed with Pfizer, is effective against the Indian coronavirus variant.
India has recently witnessed a massive surge in new cases and deaths from COVID-19, and experts suspect that the new variant could be the cause for this disaster.
Sahin claimed that the company is still testing the Indian variant, however, it has mutations that the company has already tested the vaccine for, and was found to be effective against.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that the COVID-19 variant B.1.617, which was initially detected in India, has made its way to at least 17 countries across the globe.
The UN health organization recently categorized B.1.617, which has several sub-lineages with slightly different characteristics and mutations, as a “a variant of interest,” however, it has not been listed as a “variant of concern” yet.
If listed as a “variant of concern” by WHO, it would imply that the agency recognizes it as a more dangerous variant of the coronavirus than its original version by, for instance, being more deadly or transmissible, or being able to breach vaccine protections.
Sahin claims that the vaccine is built cleverly and that he is convinced that the bulwark will hold, adding that if they need to strengthen the bulwark again, they will do it.
The BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine was the first one to get authorization in the West and is now being administered in several countries across the globe.
Regarding the authorization of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine in China, Sahin has reportedly said that the approval process could possibly get done by July this year.
Moreover, Sahin also believes that it is necessary to make a third shot to get vaccine protection back up to nearly 100% again after the immune response was seen getting gradually weaker in people who have received the vaccine.