The Guardian: A German scientist is sure of the ability of his vaccine to hit the Corona virus “on his head”

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London – “Al-Quds Al-Arabi”:

Confirmed German scientist Ugur Shaheen who developed with his wife A new vaccine against the Corona virus, It is able to stop the spread of the epidemic.

In statements to the “Guardian” newspaper, Shaheen, a director of the “BioNTech” company, said that he was confident of the ability of the vaccine “to hit the virus on his head”, after preliminary clinical examinations proved the efficacy of the vaccine. The German pharmaceutical company “Bio-Tech” and the American “Pfizer” announced in a press release on Monday that they jointly developed a candidate vaccine against Corona Virus It exceeded expectations in the third trial phase, with a success rate of 90% in a way that prevents people from contracting the disease that the world has held hostage to throughout 2020.

But the lack of evidence and data has left many people wondering The efficacy of the vaccine And its ability to heal infected people without symptoms. Shaheen said in his first interview with a British newspaper, that he is optimistic, “If the question is about our ability to stop the epidemic with this vaccine, the answer is: Yes, because I think even protection from infections without symptoms will have a great impact.”

Shaheen spoke from his company’s headquarters in Mainz via the Zoom app. Until Monday when he revealed the results of the examination, the scientist said that he was not sure whether the vaccine would stimulate an adequate response from the human immune system, adding: “There is a possibility that the vaccine does not target the virus and may find its way into the cells and continue its work, but we now know that The vaccine is able to defeat the virus.

While the BioNTech and Pfizer experiments did not reveal whether the vaccine was able to prevent the spread of the virus, and not only prevent people who had been infected from falling ill, Shaheen, 55, was sure of the effectiveness of the vaccine in a way that made him believe it was capable. To prevent the spread of disease.

And established Shaheen and his researcher wife, Ozlem Torigi BioNTech in 2008, with Austrian researcher Christopher Huber. The company developed the vaccine in an experimental method known as “MRNA”.

While conventional vaccines require genetic information from the virus and cultured in human cells, the “MRNE” method requires only the genetic code in a way that shortens the production process by at least 3 months. Pfizer’s experience in producing vaccines for the market on a large scale helped the rapid movement of regulatory authorities, which accelerated the vaccine development process to a period of 10 months instead of years.

Shaheen said, “There is no time to wait. Imagine that you want to travel from one side in London to the other side, but the streets are crowded, you need half a day, and for us the streets were empty.”

He added that the most effective candidate vaccine that emerged from the company’s experiments was able to attack the virus “in more than one way” and “the vaccine prevents the virus from reaching our cells, and even if the virus can escape, the T-cells hit it on the head and kill it.” And we trained our immune systems well on these two defensive movements. We now know that the virus is unable to defend itself against these two movements.

Shaheen said that the important questions will be answered in the coming weeks and months. It takes a year to find out if the vaccine is able to stop infections without symptoms. It is expected that the experiments will indicate how to provide the vaccine for different age levels, which will appear after weeks.

The preliminary results did not give indications that the vaccine would work differently for various ethnic groups. Shaheen hopes that the vaccine, which is injected twice in the arm within 3 weeks between the injection and the second, will provide the person with immunity for at least a year. He said: “We have indirect information about the duration of immunity. Studies of Covid-19 patients have shown that they have a strong immune response and retain the ability to respond for 6 months. I can imagine they will be safe for about a year. ” But he did not rule out that Covid-19 vaccines are given annually.

The announcement of the vaccine discovery was a cause for criticism, especially from US President Donald Trump, who accused the two companies of announcing it after the elections because “they did not have the courage to do so.”

Shaheen said that he obtained the information about the results of the transition experiment at 8 am on Sunday morning from the director of Pfizer, Albert Burla, who learned about it three minutes before the independent oversight board, “and it was the moment of truth when our minds were released from a great burden.”

He said: “Pharmaceutical research should not be politicized. Because it is all about integrity. Hiding information would be unethical, and what is important to us is that we are developing a vaccine and not playing politics. ”

Bio-n Tech shares rose on Monday in the wake of the vaccine announcement, to $ 21.9 billion. But Shaheen believes that these are “just numbers on paper” and “There will come a time for us to think about what we should do with our money” and “Usually those who invent something new are interested in doing something new again. We have to think about whether we will establish an institution or do a specific project.

And about his hobbies that he will practice after putting the vaccine on the market, he replied: “We are natural scientific researchers. The work does not cause us anxiety and we try to take time off from it. ”

He said there was no chance of replacing his bicycle that he used to go to work for the past 15 years. On Monday, Shaheen and his wife celebrated “a little”: “My wife and I sat and talked a little and drank tea, and the feeling of comfort was very good.”

The couple met while studying at the university, and they married in 2002, and both of them had immigrant parents from Turkey who arrived in Germany in the sixties of the last century.

But his tone changed regarding the suggestion that he and his wife would be a model for a generation of Germans from the children of immigrants. “I am not sure if you want this, and I think we need a global vision that gives everyone equal opportunities,” he said. Intelligence is distributed evenly among all ethnicities, and this is what all studies have revealed. As a community, we need to ask ourselves how we give each person the opportunity to contribute to society. And I’m just an example by chance of someone who came from ethnicity and maybe you were German or Spanish. ”





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