He stressed that the vaccination would be voluntary. German authorities plan to start the vaccination effort with high-risk groups, such as people with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly, health workers and workers in nursing homes.
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Race to develop a safe vaccine
As Russia registered a vaccine for the coronavirus in August, the announcement has sparked skepticism from scientists around the world. The United States, China and several other countries are also pursuing their own versions of the vaccine. Last month, the WHO said it would not approve any vaccine until it could be proven to be safe and effective.
Germany is also investing hundreds of millions of euros in medical research companies to boost vaccine development.
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In September, Spahn and German Research Minister Anja Karliczek expressed hope that vaccinations would start in the first months of next year. Speaking via video link with the Ifo Economic Research Institute on Monday, Spahn said he stands by that prediction. He also didn’t seem concerned about vaccine shortages, pointing to many competing plans to develop the product.
“If all the horses reach the finish line, we will have way too many vaccines,” he said.
Read more: The impact of the coronavirus
The coronavirus has so far killed more than a million people across the world, including some 9,600 in Germany, according to data collected by the United States-based Johns Hopkins University.
dj / dr (dpa, AFP)