Germany expects COVID-19 vaccine in Q1 2021 at the earliest

BERLIN, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Germany does not expect a coronavirus vaccine to be available before the first quarter of 2021, according to a copy of its national vaccine strategy seen by Reuters on Monday.

The 15-page strategy paper from the health ministry sets out seven potential vaccines which are expected to complete testing this year or next and could be available in sufficient amounts to begin a nationwide vaccination campaign for priority groups.

These include shots from AstraZeneca, BioNTech and its partner Pfizer, Moderna and Novovax, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline and CureVac.

“Assuming that a favourable risk-benefit ratio can be confirmed, first approvals are expected in Q1/2021 at the earliest,” the paper says.

Germany plans to set up centralised vaccination centres to inoculate priority groups in the first instance, which will be supported by mobile teams, Reuters reported last week.

The German government will cover the cost of the vaccines, while the cost of setting up the vaccination centres will be borne by the states and public and private health insurers where appropriate.

The paper says it expects manufacturers will deliver the shots to distribution centres in multi-dose vials without the syringes and cannulas as well as the required solvent that is needed for vaccination. It has therefore asked the states to procure these accessories.

To get an overview on the effectiveness of the vaccines, Germany will collect non-personal data including information on age, sex, place of residence, vaccination date, vaccine product and vaccination dose administered, the paper says. (Reporting by Andreas Rinke and Caroline Copley; Editing by Maria Sheahan)


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