The difference between the two vaccines is that the one meant for members of the government is said to have fewer side-effects. It also lacks certain additives which are said to be present in the version for the general population.

A spokesperson for the German interior minister, quoted by the Berliner Zeitung newspaper, said that the vaccines marked for the government were ordered months ago, when there were no clear differences between the two vaccines. She added that the other version was not a second-class vaccine.

According to a separate report in the mass-circulation Bild newspaper, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Health Minister Ulla Schmidt are planning on getting vaccinated with the shot provided to the general population.