Germany expects AstraZeneca to deliver 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in February

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany expects British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc to deliver 3 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in February despite the company's latest production problems, Health Minister Jens Spahn told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. AstraZeneca informed European Union officials on Friday it would cut deliveries of its COVID-19 vaccine to the bloc by 60% to 31 million doses in the first quarter of the year due to production problems, a senior official told Reuters. The decrease deals another blow to Europe's COVID-19 vaccination drive after Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech slowed supplies of their vaccine to the bloc this week, saying the move was needed because of work to ramp up production.

Reuters January 24, 2021 00:12:20 IST
Germany expects AstraZeneca to deliver 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in February

Germany expects AstraZeneca to deliver 3 million COVID19 vaccine doses in February

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany expects British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc to deliver 3 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in February despite the company's latest production problems, Health Minister Jens Spahn told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

AstraZeneca informed European Union officials on Friday it would cut deliveries of its COVID-19 vaccine to the bloc by 60% to 31 million doses in the first quarter of the year due to production problems, a senior official told Reuters.

The decrease deals another blow to Europe's COVID-19 vaccination drive after Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech slowed supplies of their vaccine to the bloc this week, saying the move was needed because of work to ramp up production.

"The good news is that if the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved at the end of January, we expect at least 3 million vaccine doses for Germany in February," Spahn told Bild am Sonntag in an interview.

Spahn acknowledged this was less than expected. The delay showed the production of vaccines was a much more complex task than some media headlines suggested, he added.

Spahn renewed his promise that the government would be able to make a vaccination offer to all citizens who wanted to get the shot by the summer. "If the expected approvals for further vaccines come, it will stay that way," Spahn said.

The government also remained committed to its goal of vaccinating all willing citizens older than 80 years by the end of March, Spahn said.

The minister rejected criticism that Germany was lacking other countries in its vaccination drive.

"We can make meaningful comparisons in two or three months," Spahn said, adding that Germany had decided to start with vaccinations in nursing homes, which he described as a more complex and time-consuming task.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Alex Richardson)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.