The co-founder of the German pharmaceutical company BioNTech, Ugur Sahin, said on Wednesday that the coronavirus vaccine developed by his laboratory and distributed together with his American partner Pfizer will need a third dose to maintain its effectiveness nine months after the application of the second, which is administered 21 days after the first inoculation.
“Protection is slowly diminishing over time. We have data that indicates that at six months the protection is no longer 95% but 91%, and at eight months we see that the antibodies that produce protection clearly diminish,” Sahin said in a virtual meeting with journalists from foreign media in Germany.
In this sense, he affirmed that “for that reason, we need a third dose to bring protection back to close to 100%,” reported the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.
Sahin, who directs BioNTech together with the scientist Özlem Türeci, who is his wife, warned that the maximum effectiveness of the vaccine, which is 97%, is not reached until seven days after receiving the second dose, and recalled that Six months after this maximum immunity has been achieved, it begins to decline.
According to his estimates, that would mean that between nine months and the following year he will probably have to inject a third dose to ensure that he maintains that immunity.
“The third dose at 9 months, or at the latest after a year, can help the protection as a booster vaccination,” said the doctor, adding that “probably” this vaccine will become an annual inoculation, like the seasonal flu.