CEO of COVID-19 Vaccine Maker Says Different Vaccine May Be Needed by Next Year

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
October 4, 2021 Updated: October 4, 2021

The head of BioNTech, which along with Pfizer developed one of the most common COVID-19 vaccines in the world, said that new vaccines might be necessary by 2022 to combat the “next generation” of COVID-19 variants.

BioNTech Chief Executive Officer Ugur Sahin told the Financial Times that the new strains of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19, will likely be able to evade vaccines.

“We have no reason to assume that the next generation virus will be easier to handle for the immune system than the existing generation,” he said on Oct. 4. “This year [a different vaccine] is completely unneeded. But by mid next year, it could be a different situation.”

Without mentioning data suggesting that “natural immunity” may offer better and longer-lasting protection, Sahin said that the next vaccines will have to be “tailored” to forthcoming changes to the CCP virus.

“This virus will stay, and the virus will further adapt,” Sahin said. “We have no reason to assume that the next generation virus will be easier to handle for the immune system than the existing generation. This is a continuous evolution, and that evolution has just started.”

Other pharmaceutical company executives, including Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, also predicted new variants that are able to withstand the vaccines.

“The most likely scenario for me is that because the virus is spread all over the world, that it will continue seeing new variants that are coming out,” Bourla told ABC News in a recent interview. “Also, we will have vaccines that they will last at least a year, and I think the most likely scenario is annual vaccination, but we don’t know really. We need to wait and see the data.”

Throughout the second half of 2021, world health officials, heads of corporations, and media outlets have frequently warned about the COVID-19 Delta variant and have often cited the strain as a reason to implement more lockdowns, vaccine mandates for jobs, vaccine passports, and other measures.

In Israel, one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, officials have said that people will have to get a COVID-19 booster shot, or a third dose, after six months in order to be considered fully vaccinated. It means that individuals who haven’t received the shot will be denied entry or service at certain businesses such as restaurants, gyms, or sports venues as the Israeli government mandates that people show proof-of-vaccination documents, known as a “green pass.”

Israel, which relies heavily upon the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, is the first country in the world to make the booster shot mandatory for its digital vaccination passport.

The comments come after a recent BioRxiv study published ahead of peer review suggested that many recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine displayed substantial waning of antibodies to COVID-19 and its variants, including Delta, Beta, and Mu.

Bali Pulendran of Stanford University and Mehul Suthar of Emory University told Reuters last week that their study shows “vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine induces high levels of neutralizing antibodies against the original vaccine strain, but these levels drop by nearly 10-fold by seven months.”

Pfizer and BioNTech officials didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for additional comment.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.