The German government expects the country to face shortages in its supply of coronavirus shots for at least another 10 weeks, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Thursday amid a backlash over the pace of the country’s vaccine rollout program.
We will experience at least another 10 weeks of coronavirus vaccine shortage,” Spahn tweeted, adding that “confidence in this crisis can only be achieved if the federal and state governments pull together.”
Spahn’s remarks come amid an ongoing dispute between the European Union and drugmaker AstraZeneca over vaccine delays which threaten the bloc’s fragile recovery from the pandemic.
The German Health Minister has proposed that a vaccination summit be held with all regional German states and federal governments to discuss “the way forward” and to ensure that “Europe gets its fair share” of vaccine doses.
Spahn also proposed inviting members of the pharmaceutical industry and vaccine manufacturers in Germany to show “how complex the production process is.”
“Vaccine production cannot be set up in four weeks,” Spahn said.
“If it can be done in a few months, that's very fast. Simply because the quality has to be very good to protect the citizens,” he added.
- Germany marked one year since the virus arrived on Wednesday, with the country showing no signs of reduced infections.
- According to the latest data from Germany's national agency for disease control and prevention, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), there had been an increase of 17,553 infections on Thursday over a 24-hour period, with 941 deaths.
- As of Thursday, RKI data shows Germany has vaccinated nearly 2 million people -- around 2% of the country's population.