German experts draw up plan for first COVID-19 vaccine beneficiaries

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COVID-19

A coronavirus vaccine, which Germany is hoping will become available in the coming months, should be administered first to at-risk groups, such as the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions.

According to an independent panel of experts, Staff in hospitals and care homes would also be first in line, the German Ethics Council said in a position paper released on Monday.

It also lists key workers in other areas as priorities, such as those at local health authorities, police officers, firefighters and teachers, council chairperson Alena Buyx said on presenting the plans in Berlin.

People housed in cramped accommodation, such as the homeless or asylum seekers, should also be prioritised, she added.

Concrete data is still needed in order to establish exact priorities, although Buyx said, “Very old patients, are by far the highest risk group.’’

Thomas Mertens, head of the Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO), said that no decision has yet been made on the Ethics Council’s recommendations.

“The prioritisation must be established by political decision-makers on the basis of the recommendations,’’ Mertens said.

Any final decisions would be made by “those who hold the syringe,’’ he added.

The first Covid-19 vaccines could be authorised as early as the start of 2021, according to the experts.

Germany has one major contender currently undergoing a late-stage rolling review by the European Union’s regulator.

The drug was developed by German firm BioNTech in collaboration with its US partner, Pfizer. (dpa/NAN)

– Nov. 9, 2020 @ 15:09 GMT |

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