To justify his country's stance, this senior official recalled that Germany seeks to establish itself as an "innovation hub" that is interested in protecting intellectual property rights.
"The main issue is not the question of patents. The main issue is production capacities," the Health Minister stressed.
"The production of messenger ribonucleic acid vaccines is not something that can be somehow done under license somewhere, in some factory. It is about technology transfer, which is usually better in cooperation."
The United States proposed that pharmaceutical companies' patents on their COVID-19 vaccines should be temporarily waived. Manufacturers around the world could then produce the vaccines without paying any licensing fees to the companies that developed the vaccine.
Spahn also justified the German stance saying that the European Union would "produce for the world, knowing that we are not all safe until everyone in the world is safe."
Recalling German biotechnological company BioNTech's plans to produce between two and three billion doses annually of its COVID-19 vaccine, he vowed that his country would "significantly ramp up vaccine exports."