BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany is in talks with BioNTech and other COVID-19 vaccine makers about possible funding to help them secure capacity and raw materials, Health Minister Jens Spahn tweeted on Saturday.
The discussions follow a government “vaccine summit” this week with state leaders and representatives of pharmaceutical companies and the European Commission to discuss progress in vaccinating the population.
Delays to the European Union’s vaccine rollout and concern about new coronavirus variants make it harder for European governments to ease current pandemic restrictions.
“At the Vaccine Summit, #BioNTech outlined a potential funding requirement of up to 400 million euros for reserving capacity and raw materials into next year. We are in exchange with the company to further firm this up,” Spahn tweeted.
“We are also talking to other #vaccine manufacturers about this,” he added. “We want to secure sufficient capacity for Germany, Europe and the world for 2022 in case of problematic mutations or necessary booster vaccinations.”
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Saturday he was angry that more COVID-19 vaccines were not ordered last year as EU chief executive Ursula von der Leyen renewed her defence of the European Commission’s record on rolling them out.
BioNTech has teamed up with Pfizer Inc to roll out its vaccine.
(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Nick Macfie)