Germany could use the vaccines developed by China and Russia if Europe’s medicines watchdog approves them, the country’s Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Sunday.
“If a vaccine is safe and effective, no matter in which country it was produced, then it can of course help in beating the pandemic,”Spahn told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper on Sunday, stressing, however that the shots must be firstly approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Spahn’s comments came a day after he admitted that the country is facing a shortfall of vaccines that could last until April.
“Because with the shortage of the vaccine, we are going through at least ten tough weeks,” the German Health Minister wrote in a Twitter post on Saturday.
Denn wir gehen bei der Knappheit des Impfstoffes noch durch mindestens zehn harte Wochen. Die sollten wir mit gemeinsamem Arbeiten in der Sache verbringen. Das dürfen die Bürger von uns in dieser schweren Zeit erwarten. (5/5)
— Jens Spahn (@jensspahn) January 28, 2021
Similarly, the premier of Germany’s southern state of Bavaria and head of Germany’s Christian Social Union (CSU) Markus Soeder, urged the same day European authorities to consider the use of the vaccines produced by the two countries, in a bid to tackle the current vaccine supply shortage.
“The European supervision authorities should also test the Russian and Chinese vaccines as soon as possible,” Soder told German newspaper Die Welt in an interview.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to hold on Monday a videoconference meeting with the 16 state premiers, European Commission officials and pharmaceutical executives to discuss ways to speed-up the country’s vaccination programme.