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BioNTech executive predicts Europe will reach herd immunity in next few months

BioNTech executive predicts Europe will reach herd immunity in next few months
© DANIEL ROLAND/AFP via Getty Images

The head of the German biotech company that partnered with Pfizer for its COVID-19 vaccine says he expects Europe to reach herd immunity this summer.

“Europe will reach herd immunity in July, latest by August,” BioNTech's chief executive, Ugur Sahin, told reporters on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

The executive said children won't be included in this herd immunity since only people over the age of 16 can receive a vaccine shot, the AP reported.

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Sahin added that for adults a third "booster" shot might be required, citing data that the immune response to the vaccine will get weaker over time. He suggested that the third shot should be administered within 9-12 months, according to the AP.

This comes as more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are administered in the United States and within Europe.

BioNTech has also tested its vaccine against more than 30 new variants of the virus, finding the shot has a good response toward the variants.

“In cases where the immune response was weaker, it remained sufficient," Sahin said.

Sahin said he is expecting a “new normal” soon where people can move freely with good immune protection against the virus.

The company is seeking approval of their vaccine to be in use in China by the end of July. 

The Hill has reached out to Pfizer for further comment.