“Our lives will go back to normal by winter next year,” said Ugur Sahin, the founder and CEO of German pharmaceutical company BioNTech SE jointly developing a COVID-19 vaccine with American pharmaceutical company Pfizer. However, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci said disease control efforts, including wearing masks, should continue even after the vaccine is distributed.
During an interview with BBC on Monday (local time), CEO Sahin said that if everything continued to go well, the vaccine would begin to be delivered at the end of this year, beginning of next year. “What is absolutely essential is that we get a high vaccination rate until or before autumn/winter next year,” he emphasized. The goal is to deliver more than 300 million doses worldwide by next April, he added.
Meanwhile, Director Fauci said public health measures, including wearing masks, should be observed even after vaccination. When asked if people can go back to their previous lives without public health measures once vaccine development is completed, he answered that he hopes not and recommended people to add more areas to be protected. “Because even though for the general population it might be 90 to 95 percent effective, you don’t necessarily know for you how effective it is,” he said. “I would recommend to people to not to abandon all public health measures just because you’ve been vaccinated.”