Karl Lauterbach recently toasted the pianist Igor Levit with a glass of red wine, virtually of course: You have toasted the new vaccine. Both have two things in common, they are attacked down to death threats, the SPD health expert because of his Corona policy, the pianist because of his fight against right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism. And both see great hope in the vaccine so that the pandemic can be overcome more quickly; to save more lives – and so that artists like Levit can give great concerts again.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” says Lauterbach. With the vaccines from the German-American partnership Biontech / Pfizer and the US company Moderna, each with up to 95 percent effectiveness, a surprisingly quick breakthrough has been achieved. The difference between 90 and 95 percent effectiveness is enormous, emphasizes Lauterbach on Twitter. That halves the number of sick people among the vaccinated. “95 percent effectiveness is Champions League for vaccines.”
A billion dollar business beckons
And with the start of the vaccination, it could now go very quickly, it is an unprecedented operation, Many other companies will also benefit, including from Germany, about manufacturers of glass vials for vaccines. The new dynamic came from news from the USA.
The Mainz-based company Biontech and the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer applied for an emergency approval for their corona vaccine from the US FDA on Friday.
And at a press conference, US Health Secretary Alex Azar emphasized that the US government is expecting approval to take place quickly. “We’ll be shipping millions of vaccine doses within 24 hours of FDA approval. So my message is: Hope and help are on the way, ”says Aznar.
Optimism in the White House
According to the Johns Hopkins University, there was a record in the USA on Thursday with more than 187,000 new corona cases, the pressure is correspondingly great, and US President Donald Trump wants – even if he has to leave the White House – Obviously standing there as the one who made the availability of the vaccine possible and who, contrary to the real facts, could praise himself as the great vaccination hero, the latest breakthroughs have enabled multilateral cooperation between top researchers, but also state financial injections.
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The US immunologist Anthony Fauci emphasized in the White House that the Pfizer Biontech vaccine, which was tested with almost 44,000 subjects, and that of Moderna could be very suitable; the share price of Biontech increased on Friday at times by over 6 percent to around 85 euros.
“The speed of the process did not compromise security in any way,” emphasized Fauci. The data from the studies on the vaccines were judged by independent experts who owed no one, not even the government. “This is really solid.”
As a partner of Biontech, Pfizer has extensive experience in the field of cold chain shipping, the vaccine must be cooled to minus 70 degrees. The US, EU and other countries have pre-ordered hundreds of millions of doses of the Pfizer Biontech vaccine.
If the active ingredient is approved – a decision is expected within 14 days – particularly vulnerable people in the USA could be vaccinated from mid-December. Behind the novel RNA-based vaccine there is a long history, “made in Germany”.
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Biontech boss: Help for the whole world
This is a “decisive step in order to make our vaccine candidates available to the world population as quickly as possible,” says Biontech boss and co-founder Ugur Sahin. It is expected that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be able to give the green light soon.
The two companies have already started a rolling submission process for viewing the data here, but also in countries such as Canada and Japan. The companies want to produce up to 50 million doses of the vaccine known as BNT162b2, which has previously had few side effects, and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
G-20 summit discusses vaccination plan
The topic will also play a bigger role at the virtual G20 summit on the weekend, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) will accompany him together in the Chancellery, hosted by Saudi Arabia. Because never before have so many people worldwide had to be vaccinated, iIn Germany there will definitely be no compulsory vaccination. Procurement and fair distribution are becoming a “huge issue” globally, government circles said.
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Chancellor Merkel is now expecting a corona vaccine to be approved in Europe as early as December or “very soon after the turn of the year”. Six vaccination centers are planned in Berlin. Scholz warned the leading economic nations to pay more attention to the international corona vaccine Involve the Covax initiative. “It is necessary that all G20 countries participate,” demanded Scholz. According to the Ministry of Finance, around 4.3 billion euros have so far been made available for the development and global fair distribution of vaccines.
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has also been insisting on fair distribution for months, and poor countries in particular should have access. “The approval of several vaccines at once is within reach. The production of hundreds of millions of vaccine doses has already started up. We can have the justified hope that we will be able to gradually lift the tough restrictions to contain the pandemic in the coming year. That is a silver lining on our horizon exhausted patience “, he emphasized in a guest post for the Tagesspiegel.
According to Steinmeier, priority should be given to risk groups at risk from previous illnesses or age, as well as to health care workers, especially in the first few months when there are not yet enough vaccine doses available for everyone. It is a great challenge to make this insight valid on an international level.
Almost half of the world’s population lives in countries that do not have the means to offer themselves to manufacturers as preferred customers. The result will be that in poorer, but no less needy countries, only a small part of the population can be vaccinated, whereas in richer countries, a much larger part. ”
It is in our own, enlightened interest if some people in all countries are vaccinated first, and not all people in just a few countries first. “A pandemic that has been contained in one’s own country but not overcome beyond our borders will continue to cost human lives, but also cost prosperity.”