Germany boosts own vaccine makers in race for COVID-19 jab

Germany says it is providing up to $892 million to support three domestic pharmaceutical companies developing vaccines against the new coronavirus

Talks with a third company, IDT Biologika, are expected to conclude soon, she said. The company is developing a vector-based vaccine that delivers a coronavirus protein into cells to stimulate the body’s immune response.

Karliczek said Germany wouldn't cut corners when it comes to testing vaccines, meaning most of the population may have to wait until mid-2021 to be inoculated.

“Safety is an absolute priority,” she said.

Health Minister Jens Spahn echoed that stance, saying that only vaccines which have been tested on "thousands, ideally many thousands of volunteers in phase 3” would be approved.

Spahn complained that reports from Russia and China about vaccines being developed in the two countries “aren't always such that one feels there's absolute transparency.”

Spahn dismissed suggestions that Germany might consider making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory.

“We need 55-60% of the population to be vaccinated," he said. “I’m firmly convinced we will achieve this voluntarily.”

Spahn added that Germany also doesn't intend to hoard vaccines.

“I'm happy to give other countries in the world some of the vaccines we're been contractually assured," he said, "if we find in the end that we have more than we need.”

———

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak