German Health Minister Jens Spahn has said he is open to the use of coronavirus vaccines from Russia or China in Germany, as a debate over the availability of vaccines rages in Europe.
“If a vaccine is safe and effective, no matter in which country it was produced, then it can of course help in beating the pandemic,” Spahn told the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The vaccine would have to go through the normal authorization process.
Russia announced on Friday that it would be able to supply the EU with 100 million doses of the vaccine Sputnik V in the second quarter, enough for 50 million people.
An application for approval of the vaccine had already been submitted to the European Medicines Agency (EMA).There had been widespread scepticism of the Russian vaccine when it was announced in mid-August, as it had not yet gone through a full set of clinical trials.
Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller reiterated his call for a short-term “national vaccination plan” in a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying “a concrete road map” was needed now if a vaccination offer was to be made to anyone who wanted a jab by the end of September.
He also stressed the need for an overview of the possibilities of expanding production capacities in Germany and the European Union.
In light of the considerable criticism of the slow roll-out of vaccinations and production problems, Merkel plans to discuss the situation on Monday.
State leaders, federal ministers, vaccine makers and representatives of the European Commission, which buys vaccine for the entire EU from various manufacturers, are to take part in a video conference.
Germany reported an additional 11,192 daily infections on Sunday, just below the level of 12,257 a week ago.
The number of deaths rose by 399 to a total of 56,945 since the pandemic began.45