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"There’s a good chance that the vaccine not only is protective but could protect from infection or reinfection for a significant period of time," Sahin said. "I personally expect that a vaccine could protect us … for at least one year. If we learn that we need to reimmunize, we could do that after one year."
Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing coronavirus in their Phase 3 clinical trial.
"This is indeed unprecedented," Sahin said. "We started vaccine candidates development end of January, about 10 months ago in Germany, by starting to evaluate more than 20 candidates. In March, we announced our partnership with Pfizer."
A health care worker injects a syringe of the Phase 3 vaccine trial, to a volunteer at the Ankara University Ibni Sina Hospital in Ankara, Turkey, on Oct. 27, 2020. (Photo by Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
"The speed was only possible by really expanded cooperation and by using the lag times or essentially the principle that we don’t have time to lose," he continued. "We did not cut corners. We went through several clinical trials. We did clinical trials in Germany. We did clinical trials in the United States. It was executed by our colleagues from Pfizer, with more than 43,000 subjects so far."
The development is a significant step toward combating the global pandemic at a time when many areas are seeing a rise in cases.
Fox News' Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.