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A nurse shows a teenager the dose of the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine during a vaccination day.
A Health Ministry official said bureaucratic, logistical and legal problems keep Germany from reaching its donation targetImage: Sebastian Barros/NurPhoto/imago images

Germany likely to miss vaccine donation goal

October 20, 2021

Germany may miss a goal to donate 100 million coronavirus vaccine doses to poorer countries. Meanwhile, a committee in Brazil is set to present its report on President Bolsonaro's pandemic response. DW has the latest.


Germany could miss its goal to donate 100 million COVID-19 shots to poorer countries this year due to conditions levied by manufacturers and inadequate delivery, the Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday, citing a letter sent by a Health Ministry official to the European Union.

In the letter sent on Monday to the European Commission's Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), Health Ministry State Secretary Thomas Steffen reportedly said there were "ongoing bureaucratic, logistical and legal problems" imposed by vaccine makers on European Union nations looking to donate surplus doses.

Steffen added that these factors made "a quick response to international requests for help almost impossible."

As per the European Commission, the 100 million figure that Germany intends to reach accounts for half the total doses initially promised by EU member states to poorer nations this year.

The German Foreign Office said on Tuesday that Germany had only donated a little over 17% of that amount.

Here is a summary of coronavirus-related news from around the world.


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $120 million (€140 million) to help in the development of generic versions of Merck & Co’s COVID-19 pill. The foundation wants to assist low-income countries gain access to the medication, which will be administered orally.

Melinda French Gates said in a statement: "To end this pandemic, we need to ensure that everyone, no matter where they live in the world, has access to life-saving health products."

The cash injection will be used to help speed up production of a generic version of molnupiravir.


In the United Kingdom, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said on Wednesday that another coronavirus lockdown would be "completely wrong” right now as the country is learning to live with the virus.

"I absolutely think that it would be completely wrong for us to go back into a lockdown," he told Times Radio.

He said the hospitalization and death rates were the critical indicators, adding that those were much lower than during previous lockdowns.

Meanwhile, Oxford Vaccine Group chief Andrew Pollard has said that a subvariant of delta — designated as AY.4.2 designated as AY.4.2 — that is spreading in Britain is being watched but that it is unlikely to change the COVID-19 scenario in the country.

"Discovery of new variants is, of course, important to monitor, but it doesn't indicate that that new variant is going to be the next one to replace delta," Pollard said on BBC radio on Wednesday.

"Indeed even if it does, delta is incredibly good at transmitting in a vaccinated population, and a new one may be a bit better, but it's unlikely to change the picture dramatically from where we are today."

Coronavirus rampant: How deadly is Delta?

COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic have surpassed the 3,000-mark for the first time since late April with a total of 3,246 infections being reported on Wednesday.

Hospitalizations in the country have increased to 620 as of October 19, a rise from 249 at the beginning of October, according to data from the health ministry.

In Russia COVID-19 deaths hit another daily record on Wednesday, as the country experiences a surge in infections. According to government’s coronavirus task force, 1,028 deaths were recorded over the past 24 hours.

Government has proposed a non-working week in a bid to curb the infection rate. President Vladimir Putin has backed the proposal, which will begin on October 30 and extend into the following week.

Around 32% of the country has been fully vaccinated. There has been a large degree of skepticism over vaccinations, despite the country having developed its own vaccine, Sputnik V.

How good is Sputnik V?


China administered nearly 2.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines on October 19, figures released by the National Health Commission showed on Wednesday.

The total number of jabs administered in the country now stands at 2.236 billion.

Beijing has also started rolling out COVID-19 jabs for residents, as the Chinese capital gets ready to host the strictly controlled Winter Olympics in February, local media reported on Wednesday.

In Singapore, the first travelers under an expanded quarantine-free program have begun arriving, as the city-state begins restoring its international connections despite a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Singapore Airlines flights from Amsterdam and London landed on Wednesday under the so-called vaccinated travel lanes (VTL).

COVID-19 Special: Java's undertakers overworked


In Brazil, a parliamentary committee investigating the coronavirus policy of President Jair Bolsonaro's administration is set to present its findings on Wednesday after six months.

Senator Renan Calheiros will present the final report, the Senate in Brasilia said on Tuesday.

The report will recommend Bolsonaro be indicted on criminal charges for allegedly botching the pandemic response and pushing the South American nation's death tally to second-highest in the world.

Bolsonaro's COVID failure

Starting in late November, Parliamentarians in Canada will need to be inoculated against coronavirus to serve in the House of Commons, Speaker Anthony Rota said on Tuesday night.

"Effective Monday, November 22, 2021, individuals must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to be allowed within the House of Commons Precinct," he said.

The mandate will include members of the House and their staff, office workers, journalists, contractors and consultants.

In the United States, the state of Hawaii will start welcoming vacationers and business travelers from November 1, Governor David Ige said on Tuesday. Infections and hospitalizations on the islands have fallen in recent weeks.

Police officers, firefighters and municipal workers in New York City will be placed on unpaid leave if they are not vaccinated. City Mayor Bill de Blasio gave public employees the ultimatum and said workers who did comply with the government vaccination mandate would receive $500 if they got their first shot by October 29.

"We've got to end the COVID-era. Our police officers, our EMTs, our firefighters, all our public employees, a lot of them come in very close contact with their fellow New Yorkers," de Blasio said in an MSNBC interview. "They need to be safe. Their families need to safe, but we also need to reassure all New Yorkers that if you're working with a public employee, they're vaccinated. Everyone's going to be safe," de Blasio said.

Workers who do not have proof of vaccination by October 29, will be placed on leave.

kb,dvv/sms (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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