Curevac production endangered by US blockade of raw materials

The vaccine production of the German manufacturer Curevac is in acute danger due to a lack of raw materials.


This is reported by the "Spiegel". The US government is blocking the export of key materials by decree.

"With the Defense Production Act, we cannot get certain goods out of the USA," said Curevac boss Franz-Werner Haas. “We do not always get the materials we need.” Curevac is of great importance for the European, especially for the German vaccination campaign. The company has aligned its production exclusively to the EU for 2021 and aims to produce 300 million cans by the end of the year. How much of it will actually be available in the important summer months is currently unclear. “We sometimes live from hand to mouth,” says Haas. "That makes it difficult to build up a large stock," says the Curevac boss. The remedy has around 90 elements, if only one is missing, there is no vaccine. The retained materials such as nucleotides or specially certified medical plastic containers are partly produced by German companies in the USA. The Tübingen company has already turned on the federal government: "Politicians are trying to help," said Haas. However, political paths are not always the fastest, especially at the international level. The government wants to be cautious about the supply needs.

"There is no official American export ban, but a subtle one," said a senior government official. "The US government's supply contracts state that US production must first be supplied before it can be exported." That is why there were talks with the US government, said another government insider. The Federal Ministry of Economics is in an exchange with the US embassy in Berlin, the EU vaccination task force communicates with its counterpart in the White House.

The US government did not want to officially comment on the process at the request of "Spiegel". Behind the scenes, however, senior government officials said the problem was "nothing more than a limited supply." The suppliers could not meet the high demand. The Defense Production Act only prioritizes US government contracts over other US contracts.

But that is not an export ban, it is said in Washington.