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Big Business: Covid vaccine maker BioNTech accounts for almost one-fifth of German economic growth

Covid-19 vaccine, Big Business: Covid vaccine maker BioNTech accounts for almost one-fifth of German economic growth

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The upturn in the German economy last year would probably have been much smaller without the success of BioNTech with its Covid-19 vaccine, produced by Pfizer, writes German Manager Magazine.

By about 0.5 percentage points, the now world-renowned Mainz-based company is likely to have contributed to gross domestic product (GDP) growth, estimate both the union-affiliated Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK) and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW). “There is a clear BioNTech effect,” IMK Scientific Director Sebastian Dullien told Reuters news agency on Friday.

(Listen to Dr. Angelique Coetzee, president of the South African Medical Association and the doctor who discovered Omicron, what experiences she made with European politicians)

These figures cast Covid policy in Germany and the EU in a different light. What brings in so much money must be preserved. This is probably one of the important reasons why Berlin, despite overwhelming protests against the current Covid vaccination policy, is not budging from its position and still wants to introduce compulsory vaccination.

According to a first estimate by the German Federal Statistical Office, Europe’s largest economy grew by 2.7% in 2021; without the BioNTech success, it would have only reached 2.2%. “I can’t remember a single German company ever contributing so much to growth,” Dullien said.

BioNTech said it generated between 16 billion and 17 billion euros in sales of its Covid vaccine last year – the company’s first-ever product available on the market since it was founded in 2008.

(In his speech to the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressed that Germany is ready to “play a decisive role in the global transformation.” )

That’s a huge jump: in 2020, sales were still less than half a billion. “That’s a massive increase that impacts Germany’s overall economic growth,” Dullien said.

On top of that, BioNTtech sources comparatively few upstream products from abroad, which would still have to be deducted from the production value for the GDP calculation.

“This is, therefore, almost purely a domestic value creation,” Dullien said. “That, therefore, has a direct positive impact on economic growth.” BioNTech has the vaccine based on its new mRNA technology produced in Marburg, Germany, and collects billions in fees from its U.S. partner Pfizer.

BioNTech’s impressive success shows that there is an incredible research landscape in Germany, Dullien said.”

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