Italy has “threatened” to approve Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine amid growing outrage at the stalled vaccination in the EU, journalist Tim McNulty wrote in an article for the Express newspaper.
In his opinion, the decision of Rome to use the Russian drug “threatens to split the EU”. The author of the article recalled the words of the assessor (regional minister) of health of Lazio Alessio D’Amato that “Sputnik V” can become a tool that will accelerate the vaccination program in the country. He added that Italy could quickly obtain an alternative vaccine, “reducing bureaucratic time” as the EU struggles to ensure adequate supplies.
McNulty stressed that the European Union is experiencing difficulties with a large-scale vaccination against coronavirus due to problems with the supply of drugs from AstraZeneca and Pfizer.
The publicist also noted that Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has expressed interest in Sputnik V, since EU member states cannot cope with speeding up the process of vaccine introduction. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the German side is open to using the Russian drug.
In January, Merkel announced that she had offered Russia assistance in registering Sputnik V with the European Union. According to her, Germany is ready for cooperation, but for its use in the European Union, the Russian vaccine must obtain permission from the European Medicines Agency. At the same time, one of the EU members – Hungary – independently purchases “Sputnik V”, the same approach is now being discussed in the Czech Republic.
Last week, the authoritative scientific publication Lancet published a work with the results of the third stage of testing “Sputnik V” on volunteers. Studies have confirmed the high safety of the Russian vaccine and the effectiveness at the level of 91.6 percent.
The use of the Sputnik V vaccine was previously approved in 21 countries: Russia, Belarus, Argentina, Bolivia, Serbia, Algeria, Palestine, Venezuela, Paraguay, Turkmenistan, Hungary, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, the Republic of Guinea, Tunisia, Armenia, Mexico, Nicaragua and Republika Srpska (entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Lebanon and Myanmar.