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December vaccine rollout possible: BioNTech CEO

AFP
Frankfurt am Main,
BioNTech co-founder Ugur Sahin on Thursday said the frontrunner COVID-19 vaccine his German firm is developing with Pfizer could be rolled out before the year is over in the United States or Europe.
“We are working at full speed,” he told AFP, confirming that the companies planned to apply for emergency use authorisation of their jab in the US on Friday, while European regulators will receive another batch of data “next week”.
“There is a chance that we can receive approval from the US or Europe or both regions this year still,” said Sahin, 55, who is also BioNTech’s chief executive. “We may even start delivering the vaccine in December,” he said, adding that, “if everyone works together very closely”.
The BioNTech/Pfizer shot and another one being developed by US firm Moderna have taken the lead in the global chase for a vaccine, after large-scale trial data this month showed that their jabs were around 95 percent effective against COVID-19. The twin breakthroughs have lifted hopes for an end to a pandemic that has infected more than 56 million people and caused more than 1.3 million deaths worldwide since the virus first emerged in China late last year.