Germany plans to pay vaccine manufacturers an annual reservation fee to build up reserve capacity of 600-700 million doses per year to help it fight future pandemics, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Wednesday.
The government plans to launch a call for tenders for so-called pandemic preparedness contracts with a five-year term, he told a news conference.
“We in the government have agreed that we want to provide capacity for production of vaccines in and for Germany,” Spahn said, adding that this could be activated very quickly so that vaccine production could start at short notice.
Photo: AFP 照片：法新社
Manufacturing setbacks and an over-reliance on European Union approval for supplies slowed Germany’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. It wants to boost domestic production to ensure that it is not deprived of shots in future pandemics.
In February, it set up a vaccine production task force with the aim of building up domestic production and reducing bottlenecks in the supply chain.
Germany will also set up a center for pandemic vaccines at its vaccine regulator, the Paul Ehrlich Institute, Spahn said.
Germany is home to BioNTech and CureVac, two of the leading developers of mRNA vaccines for COVID-19, as well as pharmaceutical giants Bayer and Merck and many small and medium-sized suppliers.
The German plan is one of more than half a dozen by governments around the world to avert shortages by supporting drug companies’ local production.
Some, including Australia, Brazil, Japan and Thailand, are setting up manufacturing partnerships with drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC.
Elsewhere, Italy has pledged state backing for a public-private vaccine production centre, while Austria, Denmark and Israel plan a joint research and development fund and will explore whether to produce their own next-generation vaccines.
A n invasion of Southeast Asian dwarf honey bees, suspected to have entered the country via cargo or passenger ship, and initially detected not far from Kaohsiung Harbor, is causing problems in the city. Since the bees prefer to build their hives on branches, poles or other long cylindrical objects found on balconies, their presence often causes a big shock to residents. In the first half of this year alone, Kaohsiung public health officials have removed more than 500 beehives — a clear indication that the bee population is gradually expanding through the city. In an effort to deal with
A: We still haven’t decided what to do with all these free mangoes. I keep coming up with ideas, and you just shoot them all down. B: I think the fairest thing to do is just divide the boxes between the staff. A: There are 25 boxes and only 20 people working here today. What do we do with the other five boxes? B: Go home and get your blender and the milk and ice. I could do with a smoothie after all this back and forth. A: 我們還沒決定到底要怎麼處理這些免費的芒果。我不停想到一些做法，可是都一直被你打槍。 B: 我覺得最公平的做法，就是把這幾箱平均分配給同事。 A: 這裡有二十五箱，可是今天只有二十個人來上班。那剩下的五箱要怎麼辦？ B: 回去把你的果汁機、牛奶和冰帶來啦！我們討論那麼久，我真的需要喝點冰沙了。 (Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯)
What are we going to do with them all? (4/5) 這麼多芒果要怎麼辦？（四） A: OK, I have one more idea about the free mangoes. Just hear me out. I have a blender at home. I’ll be back in a while with some milk and ice, and we’ll make smoothies for the office. We could charge NT$25 a pop, just to cover my costs and labor. B: Instead of thinking about schemes to make money from the management’s generosity, why don’t you do some actual work? Also, do you have any idea how many smoothies 25 boxes of mangoes will make? A: You can’t have too many mango smoothies. It’s the elixir of the gods. People