As EU falls behind on supplies of Covid-19 vaccines, German health minister entertains possibility of using Russia’s Sputnik V

1 Feb, 2021

German Health Minister Jens Spahn has revealed that Berlin would be open to importing Covid-19 vaccines from Russia and China as the government looks to find ways to overcome the country’s shortage of doses.

“Regardless of the country in which a vaccine is manufactured, if they are safe and effective, they can help cope with the pandemic,” Spahn told Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The German minister’s comments came before Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s permanent representative to the EU, revealed that Moscow is not only open to selling its Sputnik V vaccine but will also share information about how it’s made.

Speaking to news agency RIA Novosti, Chizhov explained that Moscow will offer all interested countries a trial batch. If they approve it, a deal can be struck for production on their own territory.

“First of all, we need to vaccinate our population,” Chizhov said. “However, we are ready to share not only the ready-made vaccine but also, very importantly, the technology of its production.”

The Moscow-made Sputnik V formula has already been registered by a handful of countries, including Argentina, the UAE, and Hungary.

On Friday, the official Twitter account promoting the Sputnik V vaccine revealed that the Russian Direct Investment Fund, the financiers of the shot, will be able to provide the EU with 100 million doses in the second quarter of 2021. This would be subject to approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

On August 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the country had registered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V. Produced by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, the breakthrough jab is being rolled out throughout the country as part of Russia’s mass inoculation program.

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