One of the Greece’s new “favorites sons”, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, on Friday reiterated his position that patents for Covid-19 vaccines should not be lifted, while he advised that a third dose of his multinational’s vaccine may be needed in eight to 12 months.
Bourla, a Thessaloniki native who emerged squarely on the international center-stage with his company’s successful co-development and distribution of the Pfizer-BionTech vaccine, also touched on the pricing scheme for vaccines, saying that less economically advanced are provided with the vaccines at cost, “so all have access”.
Bourla spoke at the 6th Delphi Economic Forum in Athens, which is taking place in the Greek capital this week as a “hybrid” event, instead of its usual venue, Delphi, the archaeological site in mountainous south-central Greece that was considered the “navel” of the ancient world.
Bourla also said Pfizer’s goal for the year is an incredible three billion vaccine doses and four billion in 2022 – nearly half of the necessary doses for the entire planet’s population.
Returning to the timely issue of patents for vaccines and other life-saving drugs and debate on whether they latter should be expropriated by countries of blocs of countries – like the EU – during crises and emergencies, Bourla countered that even if patents were made public to all, the “problem is in the adequacy of materials (to make pharmaceuticals) and production of vaccines.
With the lifting of a patent – which I believe will not happen – a pharmaceutical company will need two to three years to build infrastructure from scratch for the production of vaccines.”