German health minister pressures EU for vaccine agreement

German Minister of Health Jens Spahn during a presentation at the Federal Ministry of Health in Berlin, Germany, 10 November 2020. [EPA-EFE/HAYOUNG JEON]

German Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) is ramping up pressure on the EU to reach an agreement with pharmaceutical companies following the announcement that the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine is 90% effective, saying such a contract should come “in the next few days”.

“As German health minister, I would find it difficult to explain in any case if a vaccine produced in Germany were to be administered faster in other regions of the world than in Germany itself,” said Spahn.

Following Pfizer’s announcement, Education and Research Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) emphasised the importance of ramping up production quickly, saying “it will now be important to produce the vaccine as quickly as possible and in large quantities.” 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted on Monday afternoon that the EU would soon conclude a deal for 300 million doses of the vaccine.

(Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de

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