BERLIN (Reuters) – The German vaccine task force will hold talks with Russia’s developer of the Sputnik V COVID-19 shot, including the possibility of setting up more production sites in Germany, government sources told Reuters on Thursday.
The source did not provide further details. German Health Minister Jens Spahn confirmed that Berlin would initiate bilateral talks with Russia on the vaccine supply deal.
Spahn, speaking on WDR radio, said bilateral talks would focus on the amount a vaccine developer could possibly deliver and when.
“You know, in the fourth quarter or 2022 we might still need Sputnik V, but to really make a difference, in our current situation, deliveries have to be made in the next two to four-five months, otherwise we have more than a vaccine. which is pretty good, “said Spahn.
Germany’s vaccine rollout started slowly, hampered by supply and bureaucratic constraints, although the number of doses delivered is expected to increase in the second quarter.
Russian drugmaker R-Pharm said it would be able to produce the Russian Sputnik V vaccine at its factory in the southern German state of Bavaria once approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). German vaccine manufacturer IDT Biologika is also in talks about possible production of the vaccine, but no agreement has yet been reached.
On Wednesday, the Bavarian prime minister said German territories would buy 2.5 million doses of the Sputnik vaccine if approved by the EMA, adding the purchase would be made in July.
The economy minister of Mecklenburg Vorpommern state in northeast Germany said on Thursday that his state plans to order 1 million doses of Sputnik V at a cost of 10 million euros, which the federal government will pay for.
But other regional leaders say vaccine procurement deals must remain in the hands of the federal government.
Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Written by Caroline Copley; Edited by Susan Fenton
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