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News Entry# 423199
Oct 30 (15:38) Germany makes preparations for coronavirus vaccinations (www.livemint.com)
*covid-19
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News Entry# 423199  Blog Entry# 4762595   
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Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday preparations for coronavirus vaccinations in Germany are underway and the government is working on ethical guidelines on who vaccines should be available for, Reuters reported.



The
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health ministry plans to create 60 special vaccination centres to ensure the vaccines can be stored at the proper temperature and has asked the country’s 16 federal states to provide addresses for them by Nov. 10, Bild reported without citing its sources.

BioNTech is developing its vaccine in partnership with Pfizer Inc.

Last month, Germany awarded $745 million in funding to biotech firms BioNTech and CureVac to speed up work on COVID-19 vaccines and expand German production capacity.

Chancellor Angela Merkel told Germans to expect a “difficult winter" as the number of newly reported coronavirus cases in the country hit a new high.

Merkel spoke today in Parliament a day after she and the governors of Germany’s 16 states agreed upon far-reaching restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, including the closure of bars and restaurants, limits on social contacts and bans on concerts and other public events.

Germany’s disease control agency said local health authorities reported 16,774 new positive tests for COVID-19 in the past day, pushing the country’s total since the start of the outbreak close to half a million. The Robert Koch Institute also recorded 89 additional deaths, taking the country's total to 10,272.

Merkel told lawmakers that Germany is in a “dramatic situation" as it goes into winter, which she said would be “four long, difficult months. But it will end."

The long-time German leader said authorities had no choice but to drastically reduce social contacts as three-quarters of infections in Germany now can’t be traced be traced anymore.

“If we wait until the ICUs are full, then it will be too late," she said.

Merkel said democratic debate about the virus restrictions was important, but blasted some critics who have claimed the German government is exaggerating the threat of the virus.

“Lies and disinformation, conspiracies and hatred damage not just the debate but also the battle against the virus," she said. “It’s not just democratic debate that depends on our relationship to facts and information, human lives depend on it."

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