Health and Science

BioNTech CEO says vaccine 70% to 75% effective for India variant

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Key Points
  • "So far we've had the chance to test our vaccine against more than 30 variants of the virus. It has proven effective against mutations so far," BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said.
  • Tests this week have focused on the India variant, he said.

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Covid-19 vaccination drive at a Government health centre during Covid-19 emergency in Kolkata, India, 03 May, 2021. Pfizer in talks with India over expedited approval for Covid-19 vaccine according to an Indian media report.
Indranil Aditya | NurPhoto | Getty Images

BioNTech Chief Executive Ugur Sahin said on Thursday the vaccine it developed with Pfizer is expected to be 70% to 75% effective in protecting against infections of the COVID-19 variant first detected in India.

"So far we've had the chance to test our vaccine against more than 30 variants of the virus. It has proven effective against mutations so far," Sahin, a German scientist with Turkish parents, said, speaking Turkish in televised comments.

Tests this week have focused on the India variant, he said.

"We expect (our vaccine) to protect against infections by 70-75%," he said after virtually attending the Turkish government's science council meeting.

The World Health Organization's regional director said on Thursday COVID-19 vaccines being deployed in Europe, including that of Pfizer-BioNTech, appear able to protect against all variants that are circulating and causing concern.

Sahin was speaking in a televised conversation with Turkish Health Minister Fehrettin Koca, who separately said the country recorded less than 10,000 daily new coronavirus cases for the first time since March 1.