OREANDA-NEWS. The Federal President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, awarded the Cross of Merit to the Federal Republic of Germany to the heads of the «BioNTech biotechnology» company from Mainz, who became the developers of the first coronavirus vaccine.

«The award-winning couple Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci are outstanding scientists and courageous entrepreneurs», Steinmeier said at a ceremony at his official residence, Bellevue Palace in Berlin.

«Your revolutionary discovery saves lives, protects people from bankruptcy, and ensures the survival of society, the economy, and culture», the German president said. On November 9, 2020, «BioNTech» and it's American partner «Pfizer» announced a 90-percent effectiveness of the drug, they created. At the end of the year, it was registered in the US, UK, EU and other countries.

A new wave of coronavirus in Germany and Europe can not be stopped with the vaccination, according to German Health Minister Jens Spahn. «We are in the third wave of the pandemic, the indicators are growing, the proportion of mutations is high», he said in Berlin, adding that Europe does not have enough vaccine yet. According to him, even if the supply of vaccines will be carried out in accordance with the plan, the vaccination of high-risk groups will take several more weeks.