Sunday, May 31, 2020

Karliczek needs to spend more money on vaccine research

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Anja Karliczek

The Federal Minister of Education and Research also has a special responsibility to promote funds internationally.


(Photo: dpa)

Berlin It was only 18 days ago that Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek announced that she would provide an additional 140 million euros for the international initiative CEPI, which supports government and private researchers in the search for a vaccine against Corona.

Now the Greens are demanding: Germany must invest a lot more here to prevent a dangerous delay – and urge the partners to invest more money as well. CEPI would need $ 475 million by the end of March – but currently only $ 186 million is in the pot.

“The majority of packages of measures that were adopted in the supplementary budget combat the consequences of the virus for our economy. These measures are extremely important. But only with the development of a vaccine can we effectively fight the actual virus in the end, ”said the green budget politician Ekin Deligöz to the Handelsblatt.

“It is a question of international solidarity to pool forces in research and pandemic prevention. This is the only way that we will soon have a vaccine against the corona virus that will help people around the world, ”said the Greens research politician, Kai Gehring.

According to the WHO, there are now more than 40 vaccine candidates against Covid-19 worldwide. The state-private international vaccine organization “Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations” (CEPI), founded in 2017, is to coordinate the race and provide the necessary funds quickly. CEPI claims that a total of two billion US dollars will be needed for vaccine research against Corona.

Special responsibility

In addition to Germany, only Norway (3.6 million US dollars) and Great Britain (25 million US dollars) paid. CEPI is currently funding eight projects in the SARS-CoV-2 program. This includes, for example, research by the Tübingen company Curevac and the Mainz company Biontech, both of which are at the forefront of vaccine development.

When asked by the Handelsblatt about a quick budget increase, the Federal Ministry of Research announced that the federal government had already made more funds available, and now CEPI is trying to “raise additional funds from existing investors and new donors in order to implement the development program.”

That is not enough for the Greens: “During the corona crisis, the Federal Research Minister has been standing passively on the sidelines for far too long,” says Gehring. The 140 million is good, “but far from enough to at least reach the interim goal of $ 475 million by the end of March.”

Karliczek has a special responsibility to promote funds internationally. Because her house is not only the largest investor of CEPI, but also a member of the Investors Council, which is responsible for strategic planning. “Karliczek’s lack of international experience is very clear here,” criticized Gehring.

More: Developing new vaccines is a marathon, not a sprint. That’s a good thing. It would be fatal if something is sprayed in the end that does not help. The expert advice.

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