He told about this in an interview with the newspaper Il Messaggero.
The scientist said that the vaccine developed in 2004 against the SARS-CoV-1 virus was not in demand, since the infection disappeared. Therefore, efforts have been concentrated on the development of a new vaccine, which may be ready in the spring.
Houghton called “great news” the interim results of trials of a vaccine developed by the German pharmaceutical company BioNTech in cooperation with its American partner Pfizer. At the same time, he pointed out that these companies “followed the people who received the vaccine for only two months.”
“They will have to watch them for a long time to understand whether the protection [from the coronavirus] will be long-lasting,” the Nobel laureate said. “We must be aware that other epidemics await us and must be prepared for the next pandemic, which may be just as dangerous than [pandemic] COVID-19. “
“It is necessary to further check the effectiveness of immunization and, above all, how long it can last,” he added and noted that in the future, the coronavirus vaccine will have to be modified.
As a reminder, the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine showed an efficiency of 90%. The vaccine must now receive regulatory approval. The companies are ready to discuss the obtained research results with regulators from around the world in order to achieve registration of the drug and release 50 million doses of the drug by the end of the year, and next year — already 1.3 billion doses.