Cologne (dpa) – Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) has announced bilateral talks with Russia on possible deliveries of the corona vaccine Sputnik V in case of EU approval.
But you have to be very careful that this is not going to be a “mirage debate”, he said on WDR5 “Morgenecho”. First of all, it concerns approval by the EU. “For this, Russia must provide data.” Until this happens, there can be no approval.
The second question, then, is the order, Spahn said. The European Commission stated on Wednesday evening that it would not sign contracts with Sputnik V as it would with other manufacturers such as Biontech. “I then also stated in the EU Health Council for Germany that we would therefore also talk bilaterally with Russia, first of all about when and what quantities could come,” said Spahn.
“To really make a difference in our current situation, delivery would have to come in the next two to four or five months – otherwise we somehow have more than enough vaccine.” In this regard, he expects binding statements from Russia on “when and what amount Germany could actually reach after approval”.
The Chair of the Standing Vaccination Commission, Thomas Mertens, said in the ZDF “Morning Magazine” that the published data on Sputnik V “looks very good,” but he does not know what additional data is available to the EU Medicines Agency (EMA). “If the vaccine is tested and approved, I personally would not object to it.” Regarding the preliminary contract for bilateral Sputnik tenders announced by the Prime Minister of Bavaria, Markus Söder (CSU), he said: “I am not so convinced that this should now be rescheduled as a solo Bavarian effort, if that the case is.”
According to Spahn, the Astrazeneca vaccine should also not be used in people under the age of 60 in Germany. “We insist on following the recommendations of the Standing Vaccination Commission,” he said. The EU medicines authority EMA continued to give an unconditional green light to the use of the vaccine on Wednesday, despite very rare cases of blood clots in the cerebral veins of younger people. In contrast, the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) in Germany has only recommended Astrazeneca for people aged 60 and over.
“If we had only had Astrazeneca as a vaccine and no alternative for children under 60, one might come to a different conclusion when looking at what the recommendation is,” said Spahn. However, as there are alternative vaccines, it is cautious to maintain the recommendation not to use Astrazeneca in younger people. The chairman of the Permanent Vaccination Commission, Thomas Mertens, argued in a similar way in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”.