The development of a Covid-19 vaccine that is effective against a variety of versions is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, according to the CEO of multinational pharmaceutical company Pfizer.
Chairman Albert Bourla noted that the agency was also working on developing a vaccine that would provide adequate protection for a whole year, which would need people to come back every year for boosters, similar to influenza vaccinations.
The potential exists that we will have it by then. At a media event organised by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and its massive pharma foyer group, he cautioned that nothing is definite.
In the fight against Covid-19, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is one of the most effective.
Despite the fact that, like other vaccines, it has witnessed a decline in potency against the now-dominant Omicron strain of the virus, it continues to provide excellent protection against severe disease, hospitalisation, and death.
“We have passed the moment when SARS-CoV-2 can be eradicated,” said IFPMA Director Normal Thomas Cueni, who claimed that the world has to learn how to live with the virus that produces Covid-19 sickness.
He predicted that only a small number of people who had previously denied the opportunity to get vaccinated would alter their minds, and that fewer people were likely to return for fourth shots than were likely to come forward for a third, booster dosage.
However, only eight vaccines and variations of vaccines have been approved by the World Health Organization so far: those manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Moderna, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Bharat Biotech, and Novavax.
After hearing proposals that intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines could be temporarily withdrawn during the pandemic in order to expand manufacturing, the IFPMA issued a statement condemning the idea.
In light of the fact that more than a billion vaccination doses are manufactured every month, Eli Lilly chairman David Ricks termed it “an response attempting to solve a problem,” while Bourla called it “crazy.”
In a subsequent news conference, Soumya Swaminathan, the top scientist of the World Health Organization, said that the vaccine supply situation has significantly improved in recent months.
She said that the issue was more about logistics and getting dosages into the arms of governments, particularly in Africa, where just 13 percent of the population has been completely vaccinated.