Germany rolls out Moderna vaccine as virus variant detected

SourceSaudi Gazette
CountryMiddle east

BERLIN — Germany received its first doses of US pharmaceutical firm Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, doubling the number of available vaccines in the country to two, following the start of inoculations with the BioNTech/Pfizer treatment on Dec. 27. Some 2 million doses of the Moderna vaccine are to arrive in Germany by the end of the first quarter, and some 50 million doses by the end of the year, according to Health Minister Jens Spahn. Like the product from German firm BioNTech and US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, the one from Moderna is also a so-called mRNA vaccine, said dpa international. Both vaccines are "equivalent in effectiveness and safety," according to Thomas Mertens, head of the German vaccine commission. Both require two jabs, with three to four weeks in between. Recipients will not have a choice as to whether they receive the Moderna vaccine or its equivalent from BioNTech/Pfizer. Meanwhile, a coronavirus variant that was identified in South Africa has been found in Germany for the first time, the Social Affairs Ministry in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg more...