The promising corona vaccine from pharmaceutical companies Biontech and Pfizer should be available to people in Europe soon after approval. “Negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry have been completed,” the committee circles confirmed to the German news agency in Brussels on Tuesday. “The contract is dry.” First the newspaper “Bild” reported about it.
Germany would like to receive 100 million cans. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) announced in Berlin on Tuesday that the federal government has started talks in the EU. Two vaccine doses per person would be required for immunization.
After signing a contract in the EU, all 27 countries have simultaneous access to the first deliveries. They must be divided according to the size of the population. Germany has a share of about 19 percent. The companies announced on Monday that their vaccine provided more than 90 percent protection against Covid-19. Initial approval in the US must be filed for next week at the earliest.
CSU European politician Manfred Weber said earlier on Phoenix television station: “The contracts will be signed in the next few hours and legally enshrined tomorrow by Commission resolutions.” The European Commission has been negotiating with Biontech and Pfizer for months.
Spahn expects the approval process to proceed quickly
After preliminary talks, the authority announced in September that it wanted to purchase up to 300 million vaccine doses from the manufacturer. No framework agreement had yet been signed – unlike three other vaccine manufacturers.
Spahn expects a fast approval process.
As usual, not all data would be collected first and provided to the authorities after the end of the clearance study. This time it works in direct exchange. Approval in both the US and Europe would happen very quickly.
Spahn assured: “The requirements we set (…) have not been lowered or changed in any way.” As an attractive pharmaceutical market, Germany, like other major EU states, could have signed a contract with just the companies, Spahn said. But in France, Italy and the Netherlands there was a very strong incentive that the Commission would do this for all EU countries.
Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, CDU Photo: Felix Zahn / imago images / photothek
Otherwise, smaller states would have been left behind. “It is sometimes more difficult, but in the end, when we stand together, we are stronger together.” As German health minister, he could not explain to the population whether other countries were getting a vaccine previously developed in Germany, Spahn reiterated.
[Wenn Sie alle aktuellen Entwicklungen zur Coronavirus-Pandemie live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können.]
Manfred Weber said, “Contracts must be professional, factual and legal.” At the end there was a discussion about the fact that Pfizer also had to respect the European liability law. Europe spoke with one voice, which allowed the American company Pfizer to appear stronger.
Spahn announced a major information campaign about corona vaccination. It will also have to be re-explained “why we give priority and who gets vaccinated first”. First, the elderly, those with previous illnesses, health and care workers, police officers, firefighters, teachers and educators should be vaccinated as recommended by the German Ethics Council, the Leopoldina Science Academy and the Standing Vaccination Commission.
Hope for vaccination in the first quarter of 2021
Information should also be provided on the technology and possible risks and side effects. Spahn was optimistic about the further development of the pandemic. Chances are “very high” that there will be a first vaccine in the first quarter of 2021.
“That’s light at the end of the tunnel.” Spahn said, “That gives me, and I wish all citizens, strength for the months that are hard to know that at least there is a good chance that next fall and winter could be significantly better than this one. “
The prospect should also encourage people to “take special care of each other this winter and keep the rules”. Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) relies on large-scale production of the vaccine. “It will be important to produce the vaccine as quickly as possible and in large quantities,” said Karliczek of the German news agency.
SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach said in the ARD program ‘hard but fair’ on Monday that today we do not know if those vaccinated will carry on with the coronavirus and be contagious to other people as well. According to Lauterbach, it will take at least a year before the whole of Germany is inoculated to “herd immunity”.
Only then can one talk about doing without a mask and distance. Leif-Erik Sander, head of the Infection Immunology and Vaccine Research group at Charité in Berlin, said there isn’t much to say about potential side effects. (dpa)