The couple behind the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin, were named the People of the Year by British daily, the Financial Times.
“By developing a COVID vaccine in less than a year, the couple achieved a remarkable scientific and business success,” the FT said in an article Wednesday.
“We were nervous,” Dr. Şahin told the daily.
“It is different when people are vaccinated for the first time outside a trial, in the real world setting,” Şahin told the FT.
The pharmaceutical company BioNTech, which Dr. Uğur Şahin and his wife Dr. Özlem Türeci, founded in 2008, managed to develop an experimental vaccine together with its American partner Pfizer.
Şahin, who is BioNTech’s CEO, announced positive results from the Phase 3 trials and expressed hope that their efforts would help bring an end to the global health crisis. Since the first announcement, which said the jab provided 90% protection against COVID-19, the rate has increased to 95%.
“As creators of the first vaccine to win approval by two of the world’s most credible regulators, however, the FT’s award has gone to Dr. Şahin and Dr. Türeci,” the FT said.
“They are the symbol of a remarkable scientific and business success story.”