Europe Could Reach 'Herd Immunity' by August, Says BioNTech Boss

Europe Could Reach 'Herd Immunity' by August, Says BioNTech Boss


BERLIN (AP) – Europe can achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus within the next four months, the head of German pharmaceutical company BioNTech, which developed the first widely approved COVID-19 vaccine with U.S. partner Pfizer, said Wednesday.

While the exact threshold required to reach that critical level of immunization remains a matter of debate, experts say a level above 70% would significantly disrupt transmission of the coronavirus within a population.

“Europe will reach herd immunity in July, latest by August,” Ugur Sahin, BioNTech’s chief executive, told reporters.

His company’s vaccine makes up a large share of the doses administered in Europe and North America, where it is more commonly known as the Pfizer shot.

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Sahin said data from people who have received the vaccine show that the immune response gets weaker over time, and a third shot will likely be required.

Studies show the efficacy of the

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