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Coronavirus

Germany Defends Vaccine Campaign, Procurement

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman says impatience in Germany with what is widely being perceived as a slow start to coronavirus vaccinations is understandable, but things will improve.

Spokesman Steffen Seibert also said Monday that the government stands by its decision last year to have the European Union order vaccines for the whole 27-nation bloc.

Nearly 265,000 vaccinations had been reported to Germany’s national disease control center by Monday, a week after the campaign started. But some critics are pointing to faster clearance of vaccines and inoculation campaigns in other countries including the U.K., the U.S. and Israel and faulting the EU’s strategy in ordering vaccines.

Seibert told reporters that “the impatience and the many questions people are now asking are entirely understandable.” He said that “some things can and will improve.”

Seibert said that choosing to order vaccines along with Germany’s EU partners “was and is the right way” to proceed. He said that for a country in the middle of Europe with many borders, “everyone for themselves cannot be the way.”

Health Ministry spokesman Hanno Kautz said 1.3 million doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine were delivered to Germany before the end of 2020 and another 670,000 are due on Friday. Germany has 83 million people.

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