05:06 GMT19 April 2021
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    Protests against the restrictive measures took place over the weekend in Germany as well as several other European nations, including Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Finland.

    BioNTech is a company which developed one of the coronavirus vaccines jointly with the US company Pfizer. Ugur Sahin, one of its co-founders, has said that by the end of this summer, there will be no need for a lockdown.

    Ugur Sahin and his wife Özlem Türeci, the co-founders of the pharmaceutical company, gave a promising forecast in an interview to Welt Am Sonntag newspaper.

    “Many European countries and the US we will probably not need lockdowns by summer’s end,” Sahin said.

    Sahin noted, however, that the virus will not disappear and that it would take at least one year until humanity would have control over the situation, adding that in the future there would be no problem vaccinating 80 million people every year.

    “There’ll be outbreaks, but they’ll be background noise. There’ll be mutations, but they won’t frighten us,” Sahin said.

    Last week, BioNTech set up an alliance of 13 firms designed to speed up the production of its coronavirus vaccine to compensate for the shortages of doses. The company envisages the production of 2 billion doses of its vaccine against COVID-19 for delivery in 2021 within the framework of the new partnership, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    The vaccination campaign kicked off in Germany last December. According to the national plan, during the first stage, Germany will vaccinate citizens over 75 years of age, as well as the personnel of hospitals and nursing homes. A million doses were left lying in warehouses, however, as the usage of AstraZeneca was permitted only for citizens below the age of 65 years.

    German TV channel ZDF reported on Friday that nearly seven million people got their first dose of the two-shot COVID-19 vaccine in Germany, while about three million have received both shots.

    Meanwhile, WHO regional director Hans Kluge said this week that the vaccination coverage in countries within the World Health Organisation's European region ranges from less than 1 percent to 44 percent, also warning that vaccination could not replace public health and social measures aimed at limiting the spread of the virus.

    Pfizer, COVID-19, vaccine, Germany, Europe, US
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