Jens Spahn

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany buys 200,000 doses of Covid-19 antibody drug
Jens Spahn
Jens Spahn Credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The German government has purchased a new Covid-19 antibody-based Corona drug. German Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) has stated that "Starting next week, the monoclonal antibodies will be used in Germany as the first country in the EU. Initially in university clinics," and added that "The federal government has purchased 200,000 doses for 400 million euros,"

Regional News • Europe • Germany
German Federal government orders mandatory search for Covid-19 mutations
Jens Spahn
Jens Spahn Credit: Olaf Kosinsky (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 DE)

Until now Covid-19 samples in German laboratories have rarely been tested for possible new virus variants. This is now to change with a search obligation for laboratories.

The German government is obliging laboratories to specifically search for highly contagious mutations of the coronavirus. This is provided for in a regulation on gene sequencing presented by Health Minister Jens Spahn. Accordingly, the goal is to examine at least five percent of positive samples for gene mutations in the future. "We want a better overview of the virus variants circulating in Germany," said the CDU politician.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
UK Covid-19 variant detected for the first time in Berlin

According to a study by In Berlin, the new variant of the coronavirus from Great Britain has been detected for the first time. This was announced by the Senate Health Administration on Friday. The affected person and other ill contact persons his recovered in the meantime. Possible further contact persons are still being searched for. from German A few days ago, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said that the new virus variant was not very widespread in Germany so far. At least according to current knowledge, it looks like the measures taken have prevented the new form from spreading, Spahn said in Berlin on Wednesday.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Covid-19: Germany hopeful of earlier EU vaccine decision
Jens Spahn
Jens Spahn Credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

After the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced it would issue its decision on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on December 21, German Health Minister Jens Spahn, speaking at a joint press conference with the Robert Koch Institute, the government agency responsible for disease control and prevention, said the report was "good news."

A fortnight ago, BioNTech and Pfizer submitted an application to the EMA for conditional marketing authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine. President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that she welcomed the EMA's decision to bring the meeting forward.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
EU finalizes contract for Covid-19 vaccine
EU finalizes contract for Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: unsplash.com / Guillaume Périgois

The EU Commission has ended talks with the pharmaceutical companies Biontech and Pfizer on the supply of a corona vaccine. The vaccine developed by them prevents in more than 90 percent of cases a disease caused by the corona virus Covid-19, the pharmaceutical companies had announced.

According to the German Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn, the EU has also already concluded agreements with the pharmaceutical companies Astra Zeneca and Sanofi, which are also working on corona vaccines.

Health
Germany does not expect a Covid-19 vaccine to be available before first quarter 2021
Jens Spahn
Jens Spahn Credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Germany's health minister Jens Spahn said he still does not expect a shot to be available before the first quarter of 2021, even after the announcement by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech that their Covid-19 vaccine proved to be 90% effective.

"If this should prove true ... then it would be a good signal because it shows that this vaccine makes a difference," Jens Spahn told a news conference Monday.

Health
EU calls for swift reform of WHO
EU calls for swift reform of WHO
Credit: © Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.5)

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said at a press conference that "the current pandemic challenges us very acutely, but it is very important that the [WHO] reform debate is to be held in parallel".

The draft EU document, which will represent the bloc's position at a WHO assembly in mid-November, calls on the agency to make public more quickly how and whether its member countries meet their obligations on information sharing in health crises.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
The German Health Minister Jens Spahn tested positive for Covid-19
Jens Spahn
Jens Spahn Credit: Olaf Kosinsky (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 DE)

Jens Spahn, the German Health Minister, tested positive for Covid-19 and has gone into immediate isolation.

The healthy ministry confirmed all those in close contact with Spahn had been informed.

Members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet, that have met Spahn earlier on Wednesday, will not be self-isolating.

According to a government spokesperson: "The Federal Cabinet meets in compliance with hygiene and distance rules, which aim to ensure that even if a person who later tests positive were to participate, quarantining of other or even all participants would not be necessary."

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Friedrich Merz 'regrets' controversial gay chancellor remarks
Friedrich Merz
Friedrich Merz Credit: Olaf Kosinsky (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

German politician Friedrich Merz says he now "regrets" comments made when asked whether he would have reservations if an LGBT+ chancellor were to lead Germany.

During a video interview for the Bild newspaper, Merz replied to the question with: "No. Concerning the question of sexual orientation, as long as it is within the law and does not affect children — which at this point, for me, would be an absolute limit — it is not an issue for public discussion."

Merz is the leading candidate for the position of chair of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU). Whoever is selected for the role would likely become the party's candidate to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor.

Merz' answer sparked an outcry from German politicians, especially as one of his rivals for the position of CDU chair, Health Minister Jens Spahn, is openly gay.

Another gay politician, deputy chair of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), Kevin Kühnert tweeted: "This is how someone works who cannot hide the fact that he cannot deal with the normalization of homosexuality."

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Russian Covid-19 vaccine possibly "dangerous" according to German Health Minister
Jens Spahn
Jens Spahn Credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

In a radio interview with Deutschlandfunk, the German Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn has stated: "it is not about being first somehow, but about having an effective, a tested and therefore safe vaccine, which - and this is the important part - will vaccinate 100 million, if not billions of people".

According to his judgment, Russia has not been transparent enough about the studies, trials and science behind the Covid-19 vaccine that has already been approved.

He stated that "at least we now know that there have been no phase 3 studies" adding that it could be "dangerous to start vaccinating millions". Possible negative effects could "be quite fatal to the acceptance of vaccination if it goes wrong" as the approved Vaccine "has not been sufficiently tested here".

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany reports 1226 new coronavirus infections in single day, highest since May
Germany reports 1226 new coronavirus infections in single day, highest since May
Credit: Fridolin freudenfett (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The German Robert Koch-Institut (RKI) as official source for the Covid-19 infection numbers has reported 1226 new coronavirus infections in a single day.

The federal minister of health Jens Spahn has previously stated that: "At the moment, we are in any case still on a scale that the health care system and the public health service can cope with" and added that "If we stabilize at a certain level now, then we can handle it".

The last day with a higher number of new infections has been the 9th of May with 1251 cases.

Regional News • World
Germany increases WHO contribution to over €500 million in 2020
Germany increases WHO contribution to over €500 million in 2020
Credit: Stephan Baumann (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

The German Health Minister Jens Spahn has announced that Germany will increase its contribution to the funds of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2020 to over €500 million in total. He stated that "We need a strong, transparent and accountable WHO today more than ever" and that "We stand together in fighting global health problems".

Sports • Soccer
German health minister endorses Bundesliga plan to resume play behind closed doors

Jens Spahn stated earlier today "The (football league's) basic plan makes sense and could serve as a model for other professional sports".

The German Football League (DFL), which operates Germany's top two divisions, is hoping to restart the season behind closed doors as soon as May 15 the first of the five major European domestic leagues to resume since the Covid-19 pandemic started.

The official announcement will come after the Committee of Sports holds a meeting on Wednesday and put its proposal forward to the government.

Technology • Internet & Web
Germany backs Google and Apple app to trace coronavirus infections

Germany changed course over which type of smartphone technology to use to trace coronavirus infections, backing an approach supported by Apple and Google instead of an initiative called Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT).

Health Minister Jens Spahn and Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff Helge Braun told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the German Government now favors a "decentralized software architecture" that would see data stored on users' phones instead of on a central database.

The Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) has Germany's Fraunhofer HHI research institute and the Robert Koch Institute public health body as key players.

Health
Volkswagen announces donation of 200,000 masks

In a press release, the Volkswagen Group has announced that it'll donate around 200,000 FFP-2 and FFP-3 protective masks. The donation is coordinated with Jens Spahn, the German Federal Minister of Health. In addition to this Wolfsburg, the hometown of the Volkswagen Group will receive medical material donations from the company.