LONDON -- One of the scientists behind the experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer has said he was confident that it could halve the transmission of the virus, resulting in a “dramatic” curb of the virus’ spread.
The chief executive of Germany’s BioNTech said Sunday it was “absolutely essential” to have a high vaccination rate before next autumn to ensure a return to normal life next winter.
He said: “I’m very confident that transmission between people will be reduced by such a highly effective vaccine. Maybe not 90% but maybe 50%.”
Pfizer and BioNTech said last week that interim results showed the vaccine was 90% effective.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.