COVID-19: Germany prepares for coronavirus vaccination centres

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The German government is already making plans for Covid-19 vaccinations to take place, a German newspaper reported on Friday.

German daily Bild said the federal Health Ministry has asked the country’s 16 state governments to provide the addresses of potential vaccination centres by November 10th.

According to the report, a total of 60 centres are to be established nationwide. The vaccination centres are necessary to guarantee the effectiveness of the vaccine, the reports says. The vaccine will have to be kept cool at minus 78C, but many medical practices lack the necessary efficient cooling devices.

In a video conference involving health ministers at the beginning of the week, federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, of the Christian Democrats is reported to have said that the Mainz-based company BionTech is close to the approval of a vaccine.

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When he was asked when he expected the first vaccinations to be administered, Spahn said in the round table: “That could happen before the end of the year,” Bild reported.

BioNTech is teaming up with US behemoth Pfizer to develop a coronavirus vaccine using new technology based on mRNA, a type of genetic material never before used to make a vaccine.

They already have one vaccine candidate in the late-stage Phase 3 trial that is currently being tested on around 30,000 volunteers.

Around eight other vaccine candidates globally have reached this stage so far.

As The Local reported, a recent government document said it is hoped that vaccines “will be authorised and available next year”.

Authorities say this could be a “decisive step towards the control of the pandemic and a return to normality”.

Germany said “substantial funds” have been made available for research, the increase of production capacities and the early availability of vaccines.

Source: The Local