Germany has so far had no reason to stop vaccine shipments: health minister

German Health Minister Jens Spahn attends a news conference, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Berlin, Germany, March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/Pool

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Friday that drug manufacturers must honour vaccine supply contracts to Europe, but said Germany had not yet had any reason to stop shipments of shots produced domestically to other countries.

Spahn told a weekly news conference he had not yet been able to speak to his Italian counterpart about a decision by Italy to block a shipment of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine to Australia.

“As of today, we have not had the reason not to authorise the delivery of vaccines to other parts of the world,” Spahn said, adding he would always want to coordinate any approach at a European level.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine is not produced in Germany, but some of the final product is bottled by IDT Biologika.

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