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Germany: Delay for CureVac shot won’t hurt vaccine campaign

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s health ministry on Wednesday downplayed the possible impact on the country’s coronavirus vaccine campaign after reports that the shot being developed by local company CureVac could face further delays getting regulatory approval.

Manfred Lucha, the health minister for Baden-Wuerttemberg state, where CureVac is based, said Tuesday that there were “complications” with CureVac’s clinical trials, German news agency dpa reported. Lucha quoted federal Health Minister Jens Spahn saying authorization for the shot might not happen before August.

Spahn’s spokesman, Hanno Kautz, declined to comment on the report, saying the conversation cited by Lucha was confidential.

“But what I could tell you is that CureVac isn’t really relevant for the current vaccination campaign,” said Kautz, adding that German authorities had planned to receive 1.4 million doses of the shot during the second quarter that ends June 30.

Asked whether the ministry expects to get any doses of the CureVac vaccine this year, he said: “We have no information to the contrary.”

German daily Augsburger Allgemeine reported that CureVac’s late-stage clinical trial has suffered from a lack of infections in the control group, due to the falling number of COVID-19 cases.

It quoted a company spokeswoman, Sarah Fakih, saying that CureVac is confident it will soon be able to get the 160 COVID-19 cases among almost 40,000 trial participants required for the study, and hopes to submit the data to the European Medicines Agency by the end of June.

In its vaccine, CureVac uses mRNA technology that’s also employed in the BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna shots.

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Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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