BioNTech CEO rejects claims of politicized vaccines

Nov. 13, 2020

In a broad spanning interview with The Guardian, BioNTech’s chief executive expressed confidence in the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine's ability to stop the virus and pushed back on the idea that the results were delayed for political reasons.

On Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their mRNA-based vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, against SARS-CoV-2 has demonstrated evidence of efficacy in trial participants, based on the first interim efficacy analysis. The early analysis, conducted on Nov. 8 by an external, independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) from the Phase 3 clinical study, found a vaccine efficacy rate above 90 percent.

President Trump and some supporters responded on Twitter by insinuating that the vaccine news was delayed for political reasons."The @US_FDA and the Democrats didn’t want to have me get a Vaccine WIN, prior to the election, so instead it came out five days later – As I’ve said all along!" tweeted Trump.

In his Guardian interview, BioNTech CEO PUğur Şahin, said that he himself, along with Pfizer chief executive, Albert Bourla, were notified the evening before the news was shared with the world.

“Pharmaceutical research should never be politicised. It’s a question of integrity. Withholding information would have been unethical. What’s important for us is that we are developing a vaccine and we don’t play politics,” said Şahin.

Read more about the consequences of politicized vaccines in our recent cover story, One shot: With vaccine skepticism threatening to shatter pandemic progress, pharma can’t afford to falter.