Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can be quickly modified to combat coronavirus if it mutates


The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech – and currently used in Singapore – can be quickly modified if the virus mutates to the extent that the vaccine is no longer effective against it, said BioNTech’s chief strategy officer and managing director Ryan Richardson.

At present, however, a preliminary study has showed that the shot appears to be effective against the more infectious coronavirus strains that surfaced in Britain and South Africa.

“The technology is very well-suited to quick modifications,” said Mr Richardson, referring to the messenger RNA platform the vaccine uses.

“In a period of weeks, we would be able to produce a new vaccine variant to potentially address a new strain,” he said in an interview with The Straits Times.

BioNTech co-founder Ugur Sahin also told a news conference last month that its vaccine can be adapted in six weeks.