Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, speaks to a press conference after a visit to monitor the production of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s factory in Puurs, Belgium, on April 23, 2021.
John Thys | Swimming pool | Reuters
Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, told CNBC on Wednesday that he believed that life could return to normal in developed countries by the end of this year and in the rest of the world by the end of 2022.
By the end of next year, most leaders should have enough Covid-19 vaccine doses to successfully vaccinate their populations against the virus, Bourla said during an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin at the CNBC Evolve Global Summit.
“I think the whole world will have enough volumes [of vaccine doses] vaccinate by the end of 2022 to protect everyone, “he said.” And I think that by the end of this year the developed world will already be in that situation. “
Pfizer and German partner BioNTech reached the milestone of producing 1 billion doses of their Covid vaccine last week, Bourla told CNBC. The two companies expect to produce up to 3 billion cans this year.
The vaccine, one of three vaccines approved in the United States, has been instrumental in reducing the number of new infections and hospitalizations across the country. As many states begin to lift their Covid restrictions and return to normal, heads of state of other countries are calling on the US to donate leftover shots.
Pfizer and BioNTech previously committed to deliver 2 billion doses of the vaccine to low and middle income countries.
The drug makers plan to provide 500 million doses of the vaccine to the US government, enough to vaccinate 250 million people since it requires two doses three weeks apart. As part of the plan, the United States said it will allocate the vaccine doses to 92 low and middle-income countries.
The US has pledged to donate 80 million Covid vaccinations from four drug manufacturers. It is planned to distribute the majority of the vaccines through COVAX, the global vaccine sharing program supported by the World Health Organization.
According to Bourla, Pfizer has contracts with more than 120 countries around the world. The majority of the vaccine doses have so far gone to developed countries, he said, because they had ordered the vaccinations in advance.
He said he expected more vaccines to go to poorer countries in the second half of this year when developed countries finish vaccinating their populations.
The company is also preparing to make booster shots, he said. The CEO previously told CNBC that people will likely need booster doses within 12 months of being fully vaccinated, and possibly additional doses annually.
He also pointed out that the company is working on treatments for those who become infected.
Bourla told CNBC in April that the company’s experimental oral drug used to treat Covid-19 could be available by the end of the year at the first sign of disease.
Correction: Pfizer and BioNTech expect to manufacture up to 3 billion doses of their vaccine this year. In an earlier version the number was incorrectly specified.