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Germany optimistic of covid vaccine launch in coming months

Germany's Health Minister Jens Spahn today said he expects a covid vaccine in coming months. "I'm optimistic that in the next months, and certainly in the next year, there can be a vaccine," Spahn told ZDF television.

His comments were in line with a report from Robert Koch Institute in which the public health agency said that it expected a vaccine by the autumn. But later the institute later said the document was not up-to-date and had been published in error.

Spahn declined to name a specific month in which the vaccine would be ready, saying it was not yet possible to determine how often people would need to be vaccinated or how long-lasting the immunity it conferred would be.

 

"But one thing we can say is that thanks to us all working together - researchers, scientists, the public - we will probably have a vaccine faster than ever before in the history of humanity," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing.

Soon after Russia's announcement, Spahn had said the vaccine had not been sufficiently tested, adding the aim was to have a safe product rather than just being first to start vaccinating people.

Spahn repeated his scepticism of that Russian vaccine, dubbed "Sputnik V", saying it had not yet been broad tests like with other vaccines and there was relatively little data about it.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,445 to 219,964, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Thursday, while the reported death toll rose by 4 to 9,211.

Source: BBC

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