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Germany’s Merkel ‘open’ to producing Russian Covid vaccine in the EU

Check studies of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate Sputnik V are being carried out in Russia.

Sefa Karacan | Anadolu Agency | Getty Icons

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is “open” to the idea of producing Russia’s coronavirus vaccine in the European Union, coinciding to a spokesperson for her office.

Germany has so far administered the highest number of inoculations among the 27 European nations since the rollout opened in late December. However, there are broad discrepancies within the bloc, where, for instance, the Netherlands only started vaccinating on Wednesday.

The EU has been carp ated for a slow rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in comparison with other parts of the world, with the U.S., China and Israel mid those leading the way in terms of the number doses administered.

Merkel discussed the response to the Covid-19 pandemic with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. During the phone designate, she said that she “is open to the idea of bilateral cooperation for the purpose of tapping European production capacities (for the Russian vaccine),” Ulrike Demmer, envoy spokesperson for the German government said on Wednesday, according to Politico.

A spokesperson for the German government based in Brussels proved the same statement to CNBC.

Germany has made it clear that this would only happen if the European Panaceas Agency (EMA) were to give its approval to the Sputnik V vaccine. 

Europe’s regulators approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine last month and the Moderna’s jab on Wednesday. In any case, the EMA has not yet received a formal request to assess the Russian Covid vaccine for administration across the EU. 

Russia’s Gamaleya Institute, the developers of the Sputnik V vaccine, held Tuesday that more than 1 million people have received the jab, the Financial Times reported.

Vaccines for all

Earlier this week, Germany announced a further tightening in social restrictions, with school closures in appointment until January 31.

Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Thursday there will be a vaccine for “every Tom” this year. “In 2021, we will have 50 million vaccine doses from Moderna and 90 million from BioNTech assumed. That alone is enough to offer virtually everyone a vaccination,” Spahn told German television channel ZDF.

Germany has up 83 million citizens.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Spahn also said “if all goes well” there discretion be a new Pfizer-BioNTech factory in February to expand the number of available vaccines in Europe. BioNTech is a biotechnology company based in Mainz, a borough situated on the Rhine river in west-central Germany.

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