Scientist says corona transmission between people will be reduced by perhaps 50% through a highly effective vaccine.
By Associated Press
One of the scientists behind the experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer says he’s confident that it could halve the transmission of the virus, resulting in a “dramatic” curb of the virus’ spread.
The chief executive of Germany’s BioNTech said Sunday that it is “absolutely essential” to have a high vaccination rate before next autumn to ensure a return to normal life next winter. He says if everything continues to go well, deliveries of the vaccine will start late this year or early next year.
He says he’s confident that transmission between people will be reduced by perhaps 50% through a highly effective vaccine.
Pfizer and BioNTech said last week that interim results showed the vaccine was 90% effective.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s scientific advisers will meet with vaccine makers in coming days as the presidential transition remains stalled.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, says the delayed handoff is especially problematic during a public health crisis.
Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been through multiple presidential transitions during 36 years of government service.
The coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. has entered perhaps its most dangerous phase. The seven-day rolling average for new daily cases stood at 145,400 on Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That means the U.S. is adding about 1 million new cases a week, and deaths averaged 820 a day as of Saturday, a 33% increase in just two weeks.
Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, says the consultations with pharmaceutical companies will begin this week.