Pfizer's CEO Just Said When He Thinks the Whole World Will Return to Normal
The vaccine expert says we will likely see a pandemic-free world by this time.
Every country in the world has been affected by COVID-19 over the last year and a half. But the pandemic didn't hit all corners of the globe at the same time; it took over in waves. China was hit hardest first at the end of 2019 and then the virus quickly spread to Europe, where the first major outbreak was in Italy. It wasn't until mid-March 2020 that the U.S. became the hardest hit country. Since then, different countries from the U.K. to India have battled deadly surges. Now that vaccines are being distributed, but not necessarily equally, recovery is occurring in waves as well. The U.S. very much feels like it is nearing normality once again, as the country has fully vaccinated 44 percent of the entire population, per data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But other countries are not nearly in the same place. So when will the entire world return to normal? Pfizer's CEO just weighed in.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC on June 16 that it's likely the entire world will be pandemic-free by the end of next year, which is when he predicts there will be enough COVID vaccine doses for most countries to vaccinate their populations against the virus.
"I think the whole world will have enough volumes [of vaccine doses] by the end of 2022 to vaccinate, to protect everyone," Bourla said during an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin at CNBC's Evolve Global Summit.
However, he thinks developed countries will be back to normal even sooner than that. "I think that by the end of this year, the developed world will already be in this situation," he said.
According to Bourla, the majority of Pfizer vaccine doses so far have gone to developed countries that placed orders for the shots in advance. Many countries in addition to the U.S. are already administering Pfizer's vaccine, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, and the U.K., as Australia's ABC News reports.
However, Bourla said he expects that more doses will be sent to developing nations during the fall of this year. Pfizer and BioNTech have already pledged to provide two billion doses of their vaccine to developing countries over the course of the next 18 months, as The Wall Street Journal reported in late May. During the European Global Health Summit in Rome around that time, Bourla said that one billion of these doses will be delivered this year and the other billion will be sent in 2022.
"It is our hope that this will accelerate our ability to help save even more lives across the globe," Bourla said.