The German government has agreed a funding program of three-quarters of a billion euros on the development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine. Researchers hope large-scale trials will help speed up the process.
Germany agreed Monday to spend €750 million ($812 million) on a program to develop and distribute vaccines, Research Minister Anja Karliczek announced.
Around half a billion euros will go towards extending the trial capacities in Germany, and the rest of the money to developing production capacity. The announcement comes following a cabinet meeting led by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"As soon as a vaccine is found and approved, production must be able to start quickly on a large scale both here in Germany and worldwide," Karliczek said. She called vaccine development the "key" to returning to normal life.
A primary goal of the new funding program is to allow clinical trials to work with a larger number of participants from the start. Medical personnel or other essential workers could be included in the tests on a voluntary basis, Karliczek said.
Normally trials are conducted on a step-by-step basis with a small amount of participants at the beginning and are slowly expanded.
Germany is one of a number of countries around the world funding trials into vaccine development. According to the German-based Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies, 121 vaccine development programs are underway around the world.
ed/rc (dpa, Reuters)