Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) expects the amount of corona vaccine available in Germany to grow significantly in the first few months of the new year. Spahn justified this with the approval of further preparations and expanded production capacities. The minister rejected criticism from the ranks of the opposition about the pace of vaccine production and proposals to accelerate it.
Politicians from various parties had previously called for vaccine production to be increased. “If the federal government does not exhaust all legal possibilities now, it endangers countless human lives,” said left-wing politician Achim Kessler, for example, to SPIEGEL. He called for the government to force companies to license other companies to reproduce.
In contrast, Spahn referred on Monday in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin” to a system from the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis in Marburg, which was taken over by the Mainz vaccine manufacturer Biontech. »The aim is to make production possible there in February / March. And that would increase the amount enormously, “said the CDU politician.
According to Biontech, some changes are necessary in Marburg before production of the Covid-19 vaccine can start there too. The company is aiming for the release of the first vaccine produced there by the end of March.
250 million vaccine doses are to be produced there in the first half of 2021. The Mainz-based company is aiming for a total of 750 million cans for an annual production.
Spahn also expects approval of the vaccine from the US manufacturer Moderna “in the first days of January”, as he made clear in an interview with the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Bayern 2-radioWelt”. Two to three other candidates are on their way to approval, he added, reaffirming the goal of being able to offer every citizen a vaccination offer by the summer. “Christmas next year should be normal again.”
Regarding the demand to force companies to issue vaccine licenses, Spahn said: “The production of a vaccine is highly demanding and highly complex, you can’t even do it with a license from another company.” Also for the trust in the For the vaccine, it is important that all quality requirements are met.
According to the Ministry of Health, a total of 136.3 million doses are safe for Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, almost all of which could be delivered in 2021. With two necessary doses each, 68.2 million citizens could be vaccinated – out of 83 million inhabitants in Germany.
More than 30,000 corona deaths registered
Meanwhile, the health authorities reported 348 more deaths within 24 hours – according to the Robert Koch Institute, the number of people who died with or from the coronavirus in Germany rose to over 30,000. In addition, 10,976 new corona infections were reported.
In view of the still high number of infections, which could possibly rise again due to the Christmas days, among other things, there is growing skepticism in the Chancellery and also in the federal states that the current Corona measures can be relaxed on January 10th.
He reckons that “we will not be able to assess the whole thing exactly on January 5th, when we meet the next time, and will therefore have to continue the lockdown,” said Chancellor Helge Braun (CDU) told the RTL / n- tv. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) had already told “Bild” on Sunday evening that she was assuming an extension of the shutdown.