Germany to send at least 30 million unused COVID vaccine doses abroad
With vaccine uptake declining and unused doses in danger of expiring, Germany is making preparations to send its first shipment of coronavirus vaccine doses abroad. The federal republic has pledged to donate at least 30 million doses by the end of 2021.
Vaccine supply now outstrips demand in Germany
More than half of the German population is now fully vaccinated against coronavirus, and the federal republic is expecting to receive a further 100 million vaccine doses in the third quarter of 2021. For virtually the first time since the beginning of the vaccine rollout, supply of doses currently outstrips demand.
The federal government is therefore making preparations to make good on its promise to send unused doses to developing countries abroad. Germany has pledged to donate at least 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines by the end of 2021.
Before they can be sent abroad, however, the unused doses from clinics and vaccination centres across the country must be returned to federal storage facilities, where their quality and expiration dates will be checked. A number of federal states, including Hamburg and Berlin, have already announced their intention to return tens of thousands of vaccine doses to the federal government.
Four in five doses to go to COVAX initiative
Four out of every five vaccine doses will go to COVAX, the global vaccination initiative that strives to reduce vaccine inequality around the world. COVAX will decide where in the world these doses will be sent.
The remaining 20 percent of doses will be given directly to individual countries of Germany's choosing, including Ukraine, Armenia and Namibia. Three million doses are destined for the Western Balkans.
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