BioNTech Founders Awarded Germany’s Federal Cross of Merit

Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin have been awarded the German order of merit for their role in the development of the BioNTech-Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. It was the first of a host of vaccines to be granted certification in the EU, in late December 2020, marking a significant step in winning the battle against Covid-19. 

Türeci and Şahin are a couple that met as students at the university clinic Homburg in the western state of Saarland. Both are the children of Turkish immigrants, Türeci having moved to Cologne at the age of four and Şahin raised just a few kms apart in the town of Cloppenburg where her father worked as a doctor . 

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