Germany accused of breaching EU rules by purchasing supplies of vaccine unilaterally –

A report in Politico suggests that Germany purchased the additional doses of the comparatively expensive Pfizer/Biontech vaccine after failing to convince other EU states back in September of the need to buy a further 100 million doses.

Biontech is based in the German city of Mainz and received €375 million in funding from the German government in September to help accelerate its research into a corona vaccine. 

The EU eventually signed a deal to purchase 200 million doses of the vaccine in November. On Friday it announced plans to extend its purchases of the vaccine to a total of 600 million doses. 

Mr Spahn has come under intense pressure from both the media and the opposition inside Germany over his ministry’s vaccine purchase scheme. 

The Social Democrats (SPD), who are junior partner’s to the Christian Democrats (CDU) in government, accused Mr Spahn (CDU) of being responsible for “chaos” due to his alleged failure to purchase adequate doses of the Pfizer vaccine for the country’s 83 million residents.

SPD Finance Minister Olaf Scholz last week demanded answers from Mr Spahn on 24 separate points including one asking “why doses which were not bought up by the EU were not instead ordered for Germany.”

Mr Scholz is the SPD’s pick to run for Chancellor in September’s federal election. The CDU responded furiously to the SPD’s attack, accusing their coalition partner of switching into campaigning mode during a time of national crisis.

“The SPD have strayed from the path of rationality,” CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said. “This is counterproductive and only sows more doubt during our struggle with the pandemic.”