Jens Spahn: "The EU is in a very good position with its selection of vaccine manufacturers and the agreements made"
Photo: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS
Health Minister Jens Spahn is criticized for the vaccine supply.
The SPD-led countries wanted to clarify details on the production and procurement of the vaccine against the coronavirus with a comprehensive catalog of questions.
Now the answers of the CDU politician are available.
In his answers, Spahn justifies the Federal Government's approach to vaccine procurement.
The 30-page paper that SPIEGEL has at its disposal says, among other things: “The EU is in a very good position with its selection of vaccine manufacturers and the agreements made.
If all preparations are approved centrally and the agreements made are met, more than two billion vaccine doses would be available in Europe for all around 450 million Europeans and their neighborhood. "
Spahn rejected a cautious attitude towards the US product from Moderna.
According to his answers, it did not matter that it was a purely US vaccine, which should have played a subordinate role in the European pandemic fight.
However, the prerequisite for the negotiations on an EU basis was that the manufacturers of potential corona vaccines should seek EU approval and also produce them in Europe.
This is to guarantee secure access to the EU states.
The negotiations about additional vaccination doses with Moderna are still ongoing, according to Spahn.
However, the Ministry of Health prefers the European route here as well and is promoting its European partners to agree to an increase in volume at EU level at short notice with Moderna.
Questions about millions of rejected vaccine doses
The questionnaire also refers to media reports that the vaccine manufacturers Moderna and Biontech offered significantly higher quantities of vaccine doses.
SPIEGEL had already reported in December about the planning disaster of the EU and the federal government in relation to vaccine procurement.
According to SPIEGEL research, hundreds of millions of vaccine doses had been rejected.
Health Minister Spahn does not give precise details about the numbers.
However, his replies stated that during the exploratory talks the companies had made various offers, including those with higher quantities.
The final contractual conditions are the result of complex negotiation processes.
In addition to the order quantity, the delivery deadlines and delivery conditions, the price, the amount of the necessary down payment and questions of liability had to be taken into account.
The SPD-led states and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz had sent the comprehensive questionnaire to Spahn at the beginning of January.
The four-page document was divided into the three subject areas "procurement, production expansion, contamination".
A total of 24 questions were asked, each with up to eight detailed sub-questions.
Spahn had reacted with criticism to the initiative of the SPD two weeks ago.
"In this really difficult phase of the pandemic, I think the citizens rightly expect unity and determination from their government," he said at the time.
Vice Chancellor Scholz had defended the list of questions.
There are no questions in the pandemic that should not be asked and do not have to be answered, said the SPD candidate for chancellor at the time.
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