Experts and politicians have slammed Germany for not buying enough doses of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to roll out its immunization programme. Germany, which recently reported the presence of mutant coronavirus, is a part of EU’s vaccine procurement scheme and is reliant on the bloc’s regulators for granting authorization of the vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. Currently, only Pfizer/BioNTech jabs, domestically produced by Germany, are allowed across the bloc.
However, experts have lambasted EU for not only taking more time than other nations to approve a vaccine candidate but also member states for not procuring enough amounts. Speaking to Die Welt (DW) newspaper, Frauke Zipp a neurologist and member of the advisory Leopoldina Academy of Sciences called the who situation a "gross failure". Questioning the Angela Merkel led government, she asked the reason behind not ordering “much more of the vaccine during the summer just to be safe?"
Her stance was reiterated by Karl Lauterbach, health expert for the Centre-left Social Democrats, who lambasted the 27 members bloc for not having ordered more BioNTech-Pfizer vaccines “early on”.However, GermanHealth minister Jens Spahn has shrugged off any rumours about the government taking the vaccination lightly. Speaking to Broadcaster RTL, he asserted that all things were going as per plan.
Germany has laid out its vaccination plan and said that "vulnerable" people would be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination. The country, along with 26 other EU members, began the mass rollout of COVID-19 vaccines on December 27. However, the European Union as a bloc has made an order for only 300 million doses during the summer, a move that has attracted ire of experts.
Previously, Spahn had said that Germany would receive limited doses of vaccines in the initial days, making it important to prioritise people who require it more. Spahn revealed that all citizens above the age of 80 years would be the first ones to get it. In addendum, residents and workers of nursing homes would also constitute the initial recipients.