Germany Aims to Start Coronavirus Vaccination This Year

BERLIN—Germany could be one of the first Western countries to start immunizing people against Covid-19 under a plan being rolled out by the government and a German company that is testing a vaccine, according to people with knowledge of the strategy.

The plan is for doses of the vaccine now being held in central storage in Germany to be shipped to more than 60 regional vaccination centers within hours of the substance being approved.

This could happen before the end of the year depending on the results of clinical trials now in their final stages and approval by the European Medicines Agency, the European Union’s equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration.

Initial recipients would include health-care workers, the elderly, clinically vulnerable people, law-enforcement officials and people living in crowded conditions, according to lists being drawn up by Germany’s state governments, with the general public coming several months later.

The preparations contrast with the U.S., where states have expressed concerns that the federal government has yet to answer critical questions about how many doses each state will get, how these will be distributed and who would be eligible for the initial jabs.

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