The German Vaccine Working Group will meet with developers of the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, including the possibility of creating more production sites in Germany, a government source told Reuters on Thursday.
The source did not give further details. German Health Minister Jens Spahn has confirmed that Berlin will start bilateral negotiations with Russia on a supply deal for the vaccine, as Reuters reported on Wednesday. Read more
Spahn, speaking to WDR radio, said bilateral talks would focus on how much vaccine developers might be able to supply and when.
“You know, in Q4 or 2022, we might still need Sputnik V, but to really make a difference, in our current situation, the delivery should be in the next two to four-five months, otherwise we have more. enough vaccine anyway, â€Spahn said.
The vaccine rollout in Germany has started slowly, hampered by supply constraints and bureaucracy, although the number of doses delivered is expected to increase in the second quarter.
Russian drugmaker R-Pharm has said it will be able to produce Russian vaccine Sputnik V at its plant in Bavaria’s southern Germany once it has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). German vaccine producer IDT Biologika is also in talks about the possibility of producing the vaccine, but no deal has been reached.
On Wednesday, the Bavarian prime minister said the German region would purchase 2.5 million doses of the Sputnik vaccine if approved by the EMA, adding that the purchase would take place in July. Read more
The Minister of Economy of the state of Mecklenburg Vorpommern in northeastern Germany said on Thursday that his state planned to order 1 million doses of Sputnik V at a cost of 10 million euros, that would be paid by the federal government.
But other regional leaders have said vaccine purchase agreements should remain in the hands of the federal government.
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