First foreign COVID vaccines head to China from Germany

First foreign COVID vaccines head to China from Germany
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  • Mass BioNTech shots on the way to China
  • German citizens will be shot; Berlin pushes for wider use
  • The shipment came after Scholz visited China last month.
  • Infections come as they spike in the world’s #1 country. 2 economies

BERLIN, December 21 (Reuters) – Berlin sends first batch of BioNTech (22UAy.DE) A German government spokesperson said Wednesday that the first foreign coronavirus vaccine to be delivered to China, COVID-19 vaccines will initially be administered to German expatriates.

No details were available about the timing and extent of the delivery, although the spokesperson said Berlin was pressing to allow foreigners other than German nationals (estimated at around 20,000) to access the footage if they wanted to.

Shipment arrives after China agreed to allow German citizens in China will be vaccinated following an agreement under Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to Beijing Last month, the German leader pressured Beijing to allow the vaccine to be made free to Chinese citizens as well.

In a letter to German citizens in mainland China, the government said it would offer basic vaccines and booster vaccines approved for use in the European Union free of charge to anyone over the age of 12.

Family members of other nationalities will not be included. For children under 12 years of age, vaccinations can be given at a later date.

“We are working on the possibility that Germans as well as other foreigners can be vaccinated with BioNTech,” the spokesperson told reporters in Berlin.

A source close to the situation said the footage would be handed over to German companies and embassy locations in China, and discussions are ongoing with other EU governments about shipping them to citizens of other nationalities.

The source said China should approve expanding access beyond German citizens.

In contrast, Chinese citizens in Europe can be vaccinated with China’s SinoVac. (SVA.O)said the spokesperson.

Comment comes later and report Earlier this month, Germany’s health ministry had authorized the importation of China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine into Germany to be given to Chinese citizens in that country.

The vaccine has not been approved for use by Europe’s drug regulator, but world Health Organization green light for its use.

Beijing has so far insisted on using only locally produced vaccines, based on more traditional technologies and not Western mRNA technology.

The shipment comes amid Beijing’s elimination of its strict “zero COVID” lockdown regime, leading to an increase in cases that caught a fragile healthcare system off guard.

Experts estimate that the country with a population of 1.4 billion could face more than one million COVID deaths next year.

Allowing German expats access to a Western shot is a grand gesture to Berlin, reflecting Beijing’s effort to strengthen ties with the EU’s largest economy after years of tensions between the two countries over trade and climate.

BioNTech shares soared on the shipment news and closed 2.3% higher in Frankfurt, while Pfizer shares in New York were up 1.25% in morning New York trading.

BioNTech was not immediately available for comment on the situation on Wednesday.

China stuck between rising Covid-19 cases and falling vaccination rates


China has nine COVID vaccines developed and approved for use domestically, more than any other country. But none have been updated to target the highly contagious Omicron variant, such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. (MRNA.O) it exists for boosters in many developed countries.

The two shots developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are the most widely used worldwide.

Early in the pandemic, BioNTech struck a deal with Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (600196.SS) In order to provide the firings to a larger China.

Filming was made available in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, while regulatory review for mainland China has not resulted. BioNTech said the decision is up to Chinese regulators and did not specify a reason for the delay.

China’s zero-COVID policy and lockdown measures have kept death and infection rates to a minimum in recent months, but have caused major disruptions to trade and supply chains, both domestically and globally.

China uses narrow definition of COVID deaths and reports no new deaths for Tuesdayeven now at 5,241, it beats one of its total tally since the pandemic began – a fraction of the toll of many far less populated countries.

Only deaths caused by pneumonia and respiratory failure in patients carrying the virus are classified as COVID deaths, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday.

The news prepared by Thomas Escritt, Alexander Ratz and Christian Kraemer; Additional reports by Danilo Masoni from Milan and Amanda Cooper from London; Written by Miranda Murray; Editing, Josephine Mason and David Evans

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thomas Escritt

Thomson Reuters

Researching anti-vaccination and COVID treatment practices, the Berlin reporter covered the refugee camps and covered the warlords’ trials in The Hague. Previously, he wrote Eastern Europe for the Financial Times. He speaks Hungarian, German, French and Dutch.

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