Germany set for ′10 weeks′ of COVID vaccine shortage | News | DW | 28.01.2021

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Germany set for '10 weeks' of COVID vaccine shortage

Health Minister Jens Spahn has warned that Germany will struggle to procure enough shots for the next months. The government is now mulling a "vaccine summit."

Germany faces at least a shortfall of vaccines that could continue until April, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Thursday.

Spahn took to social media to warn that the government will struggle to procure enough shots for the next months.

"We will still have at least 10 tough weeks with a shortage of vaccine," he tweeted.

He called for a vaccination summit to be held between federal ministers, regional leaders and pharmaceutical companies to see how they can accelerate their efforts.

The plans for it are in progress and are still being coordinated with the regions, said Steffen Seibert, the German government's chief spokesman.

Procurement scheme under fire

On Thursday, Germany’s top-selling Bild newspaper described the problems around procuring enough vaccines as a "scandal."

Spahn told DW earlier in the week that Europe must get its "fair share" of shots and called for the EU to introduce an export licence system to stop too many vaccines going abroad.

It comes as tensions grow with AstraZeneca and Pfizer over sudden supply cuts just a month after the bloc started vaccinating citizens.

Watch video 02:21

Spahn calls for COVID vaccine exports to be authorized by EU

New cases in Germany

Germany reported 17,553 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 2,178,828, and another 941 deaths.

The government says the current restrictions could be loosened if cases falls.

Schools and nurseries should be the first places to re-open after a lockdown currently due to last until Feb. 14.

A German interior ministry spokesman said entry restrictions are being prepared for travelers from Britain, Brazil and South Africa amid concerns of more contagious coronavirus variants are rising. 

jf/rt (AFP, Reuters)

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