Life is closer to ‘normal’ than it has been in months in some places, but it’ll take a while before the entire world is back to business as usual, at least according to Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. Assuming everything keeps going as expected, post-pandemic life may arrive in developed countries by the end of this year, but other nations will take several months longer.
Vaccines are key to ending the pandemic; their efficacy has already been reflected in decreasing case and death numbers in places where the majority of the population has been inoculated. According to Bourla in a recent interview with CNBC, there should be enough vaccines available worldwide to return life to normal by the end of next year around the world.
Developed countries, according to Bourla, are expected to return to normal by the end of 2021. Most of the vaccine doses produced so far have gone to developed countries, he explained, but it is anticipated that more doses will start going to developing countries later this year.
The rate of vaccination in poorer countries is expected to pick up as developed countries finish vaccinating their own populations. A number of organizations, including the World Health Organization, are leading a COVID-19 vaccine program called COVAX that helps allocate doses to different countries.
The US recently announced plans to donate 80 million vaccine doses that’ll mostly be allocated by COVAX to poorer countries. The effort takes place amid Pfizer’s plan to start producing booster shots, which are expected to be necessary within a year of a person getting fully vaccinated. It remains to be seen whether booster shots will be needed every year similar to the annual flu vaccine, but the fact remains that the vaccines work when it comes to protecting against the virus.