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German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech during a session at the lower house of parliament today
German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech during a session at the lower house of parliament today

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says covid vaccine could arrive before Christmas

  • She also urged Germans to remain patient with restrictions meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that with several promising covid vaccines nearing approval, possibly before Christmas, people had reason for optimism. “That won't solve the problem immediately, but there is light at the end of the tunnel," she said.

She also urged Germans to remain patient with restrictions meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Addressing parliament the day after agreeing with state governors on extending restrictions through at least December 20, Merkel said officials had sought with the measures to keep life as normal as possible while protecting people from the virus and ensuring hospital systems aren't overwhelmed.

“In the fight against the pandemic it's not about health or economy, health or education, health or culture, health or social contacts, it's about all of these things," she said. “To think of these things in opposition to one another is a common misunderstanding, but it's always about both."

Germany embarked on a so-called wave-breaker shutdown on Nov. 2, closing restaurants, bars, sports and leisure facilities but leaving schools, shops and hair salons open.

The country hit the grim milestone today of more than 15,000 deaths from the coronavirus and appeared likely to surpass 1 million infections on Friday, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute, the country's disease control center.

Germany, which has 83 million people, was credited with a relatively good performance in the first phase of the pandemic. It still has a lower death rate than several other European countries, and its current shutdown has been relatively mild.

Since November 9, four drug makers have announced that their vaccines work, most of them more than 90 percent of the time.

The first to report Phase 3 results was the US-German collaboration between pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotech start-up BioNTech, followed by the US firm Moderna, a British partnership between AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and Russia's state-run Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.


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