Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla decried on Sunday the idea of waiving Pfizer's intellectual property rights in order to speed up vaccine distribution to poorer countries.
"I think the intellectual property is what created the thriving life sciences sector that was ready when the [COVID-19] pandemic hit," he told ABC News. "Without that, we wouldn't be here to discuss if we need boosters or not because we wouldn't have vaccines. And also we are very proud of what we have done."
Bourla's statement came as a response to Tom Frieden's criticism of Pfizer and Moderna, saying both companies were "focusing on selling expensive vaccines to rich countries" instead of closing the global gap in vaccine supply.
"While focusing on selling expensive vaccines to rich countries, Moderna and Pfizer are doing next to nothing to close the global gap in vaccine supply. Shameful," tweeted the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Bourla replied, "I don't know why he's using these words. We are very proud. We have saved millions of lives."
Bourla adds that within a year "we will be able to get back to normal life," but warns that variants could still continue.
According to Geert Vanden Bossche, who holds a Ph.D. in Virology from the University of Hohenheim, Germany, conducting mass vaccination of Sars-CoV-2 is counterproductive and promotes the virus' evolution.
"Conducting mass vaccination campaigns on a background of high infection rates generates optimal conditions for breeding even more infectious Sars-CoV-2 variants," Bossche wrote on his blog in August.
"The combination of massive, spike-directed immune pressure combined with high infectious pressure rapidly allows these variants to reproduce more effectively such as to outcompete previously circulating variants/ strains. Mass vaccination, therefore, promotes viral evolution towards more infectious variants."
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