Germany approves more COVID-19 vaccine spending for this fall – Reuters


BERLIN (AP) — Germany plans to spend an additional 830 million euros ($872 million) to buy new coronavirus vaccines that will allow the country to deal with a range of possible variants this fall, the country said on Wednesday. the Minister of Health.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said the government, through the European Union, had already ordered enough existing vaccines and one that was developed by Germany’s BioNTech to counter the omicron variant. He said the new funding is for a vaccine developed by Moderna to fight both omicron and other variants.

“We are betting on a broad portfolio of vaccines; we have to be prepared for all eventualities,” Lauterbach said. “We don’t know what variants we will face in the fall.”

“A lesson of the pandemic is that we never want to have too few vaccines ever again,” he added, referring to the slow start early last year of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. the EU and Germany. “We want to be able to give everyone who needs or wants a fourth shot.”

The minister, however, left open whether a fourth vaccine would be recommended for everyone, saying it will depend on which variant arrives later this year.

The existing recommendation from Germany’s independent vaccine advisory group, published in February, calls for an additional booster for people aged 70 and over among other high-risk groups, including residents of nursing homes, immunocompromised people and medical personnel.

At present, there is little demand for vaccinations in Germany, with an average of only 48,000 injections given per day over the past week. So far, only 5.6% of the population have received a second booster injection.

However, Lauterbach said vaccination centers will remain open and receive a maximum of 100 million euros per month in funding from the federal government.

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