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Germany expects faster Moderna COVID-19 vaccine deliveries

BERLIN, June 27 (Reuters) - Germany expects drugmaker Moderna Inc to deliver COVID-19 vaccines faster than expected, helping it ramp up vaccinations in coming months, the health ministry said on Sunday.

Moderna will increase its deliveries to 1.33 million doses a week in July from 733,000 previously expected, raising the figure to 2.57 million a week in August and 2.95 million a week in September, the ministry said.

Moderna said last week it hopes to be able to deliver the COVID-19 vaccines it has promised to Germany more quickly than originally planned, without giving figures.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Saturday that supply of vaccines in Germany will soon outstrip demand, which will allow it to offer shots to passers-by in city centres or at places of worship.

The government will deliver an additional 5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and 1 million from Johnson & Johnson to the regions next week, the ministry said.

Spahn said on Saturday there were already hundreds of thousands of doses of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines in Germany that were not immediately being used in doctors’ practices.

Many Germans favour the vaccine made by Pfizer/ BioNTech.

Germany has now fully vaccinated 35% of its total population, while 53% have had a first shot, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) public health agency reported on Saturday.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 538 to 3.727 million on Sunday, while the death toll rose by six to 90,754. (Reporting by Andreas Rinke and Emma Thomasson; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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