Hundreds of vaccination centres will be created across Germany to administer the new coronavirus vaccine, according to a media report.
The distribution of millions of doses is likely to present a huge challenge, not just for Germany, but for the whole of Europe. German states plan to set up hundreds of vaccination centres across the country starting in December, says a government spokesman.
It is understood that the health ministers of the 16 federal states have drawn up plans to create one to two centres per administrative district, totalling hundreds of centres, as well as employing mobile vaccination teams. The capital, Berlin, alone is allegedly planning to set up six such centres. Large exhibition halls, mostly out of use since the beginning of the pandemic, are being discussed as potential spaces to house some centres.
German health authorities are now hoping for a quick roll-out of the mass vaccination program following the recent positive results of the BioNTech vaccine trials, which showed 90% efficacy. The EU has already signed a deal with BioNTech and Pfizer to secure 300 million doses, which German officials plan to start rolling out during the first three months of 2021.
However, the government has come under fire for having no plan to deal with the tricky task of transporting the vaccine doses as they require very low temperatures to survive.
The EU approves fourth vaccine contract
The European Commission approved a fourth contract with pharmaceutical companies BioNTech and Pfizer, which provides for the initial purchase of 200 million doses on behalf of all EU Member States, plus an option to request up to a further 100 million doses, to be supplied once a vaccine has proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19. Member States can decide to donate the vaccine to lower and middle-income countries or to re-direct it to other European countries.
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