Coronavirus: Germany earmarks €750 million on vaccine development
Monday, 11 May 2020
The German government has decided to spend 750 million euros on a program to develop and distribute coronavirus vaccines, the country’s Minister of Research, Anja Karliczek announced on Monday.
About half a billion euros is to be spent on expanding testing capacity in Germany, while 250 million is earmarked for developing production capacity, the minister said after a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“As soon as a vaccine is found and approved, production must be able to start quickly and on a large scale, here in Germany and around the world,” Karliczek said.
As Germany continues its deconfinement, Angela Merkel on Monday urged the population to continue follow the rules to curb the spread of the virus.
In April, Germany authorized the first clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine developed by BioNTech, a pharmaceutical company founded in 2008.
The company’s coronavirus vaccine, BNT162b1, is based on the group’s extensive research into cancer immunology.
The vaccine is currently in stage 1 of the testing phase – which involves medical tests on 200 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 – and is expected to be completed in June.
Based on the initial results such as the immune response and potential unwanted side effects, it will be determined if the vaccine can progress to further stages.
In a statement, the company’s CEO, Klaus Cichutek, has warned that an approved vaccine was however unlikely to be ready for the general public this year.