Germany′s Robert Koch Institute withdraws optimistic coronavirus vaccine claim | News | DW | 12.08.2020
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Germany's Robert Koch Institute withdraws optimistic coronavirus vaccine claim

Germany's top institute for infectious diseases pulled its own paper which claimed a vaccine could be available this fall. The Robert Koch Institute said the document was posted in error and removed it from its website.

Germany's Robert Koch Institute (RKI) withdrew a report on Wednesday that claimed a coronavirus vaccine was imminent. The public health agency said the document was published in error.

The paper, which has now been removed from the institute's website, was an out-of-date version of a document being worked on by the agency, an RKI spokeswoman said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the RKI released the document which proclaimed a vaccine could be available as early this fall.

Entrance of Robert Koch Institute (picture-alliance/dpa/K. Gabbert)

Robert Koch Institute has removed a paper that was published because it was an out-of-date version

Read more: Coronavirus: What is Germany's Robert Koch Institute?

The agency produced a German-language paper entitled "The pandemic in Germany in the coming months." It said: "Preliminary projections make the availability of one or several vaccines seem possible by autumn 2020." But the RKI are now distancing themselves from the prediction.

The RKI's error comes amid growing concerns in Germany over rising infections.

Earlier on Wednesday, Health Minister Jens Spahn urged citizens to remain vigilant as the country reported its highest daily jump in cases since May 9.

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Spahn also expressed skepticism over a new vaccine trumpeted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, joining the chorus of concern already aired by some experts over Moscow's rapid approval of the drug.

"To the best of our knowledge, it has not been sufficiently tested," Spahn said. He also suggested Russian authorities had not been transparent about their research and testing methods.

Russia approved the vaccine on Tuesday after it was tested on humans for less than two months. President Putin vouched for its safety, even saying his daughter is among those already inoculated.

This article has been updated to show the Robert Koch Institute withdrawing its paper on the pandemic-related predictions.

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