The federal government wants to give all citizens a fourth corona vaccination by autumn and is buying new vaccines on a large scale.

For 830 million euros, she wants to order a newly tailored vaccine from the manufacturer Moderna, which should be effective against both conventional virus variants and the omicron variant: the federal cabinet made a corresponding decision on Wednesday, as Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) said.

According to Lauterbach, the vaccination strategy decided by the cabinet aims to ensure that three differently tailored vaccines are available in large numbers by autumn: firstly, the vaccines against older variants such as Delta that have already been used;

second, a vaccine specially tailored to Omikron, which the company Biontech is currently developing;

and third, the “bivalent” vaccine ordered from Moderna, which aims to combine the effects of the other two vaccines.

100 million euros for vaccination centers

According to Lauterbach, the cabinet also decided that the vaccination centers should be kept alive;

the federal government is providing up to 100 million euros a month for this.

There should also be a new vaccination campaign.

Lauterbach admitted that there is currently a surplus of vaccine doses in Germany - and that the planned order of further vaccines is likely to mean that older vaccines expire.

But this was "reasonable in the matter," he said.

“We cannot yet predict which variants we will have to contend with in the fall.” That is why the government must prepare for all eventualities by ordering vaccines.

It is planned that interested citizens can be vaccinated for the fourth time with a vaccine of their choice by autumn.

This promise of free choice should also apply if everyone interested wants to be vaccinated with the same vaccine - and other vaccines then expire.

"When new variants and new vaccines come, you have to get new vaccines, while some of the old vaccines expire," said the minister.

Lauterbach said he thought a general recommendation from the Standing Committee on Vaccination for a fourth vaccination would be "desirable";

However, there is currently no medical basis for such a recommendation, as it is far from clear which variants the country will have to deal with in the autumn.

According to Lauterbach, fighting the pandemic should also be a central topic at the meeting of the G7 health ministers on Thursday and Friday in Berlin.

Ministers should agree on a global "pandemic pact" at their meeting, he said.

The aim is to react more quickly to future pandemics worldwide - by monitoring outbreaks, responding more quickly and developing drugs and vaccines more quickly.

To this end, the G7 ministers would take a “pioneering shot”, said Lauterbach.