Chances are that one day there will be a coronavarian that the vaccine is not able to withstand. That message brings Pfizer top man Albert Bourla in an interview with American channel Fox News.
“Every time a variation pops up in the world, our scientists start working on it,” says Bourla. “Theyre investigating it to see if the variant can avoid the protection of the vaccine. We havent found one yet, but we think its likely that one will come one day. As soon as the time comes, we will need 95 days to develop a vaccine that is specifically targeted at that variant.”
Belgian Steven Van Gucht, Sciensano virologist, also predicts that the delta variant will soon make way for a new one. “Thats a certainty, its the normal course of business.” That variant may better escape the accumulated immunity, but a horror scenario is unlikely. “Such a virus reaches a ceiling,” says Van Gucht. “Compare it to top sport: an Olympic high jumper has the optimal shape and cant improve much. Its about centimeters. With the delta variant, the coronavirus is at the top of its ability.”
Virologists have said it for a long time: the sooner many people have been vaccinated, the less likely the virus has to mutate. Currently, Pfizer is testing the vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years — the results are expected in September. “Then we start with children under 5 years old,” says Bourla.
Bourla gave the interview following the final approval of the vaccine in the United States.