It will take about a year to organize production of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in Europe after its certification by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), so it is unlikely to influence the coronavirus situation in European nations, EU’s Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said on Sunday.
“I really respect Russian scientists and I have no grounds to have any doubts in their vaccine,” he stressed.
“But my task as a European commissioner is to ensure enough vaccine doses. We cannot meddle with the production processes at our companies that are focused on manufacturing the existing vaccines in the coming months.”
He noted that it may take a lot of time to organize production of the Russian vaccine in the European Union.
“If the vaccine is certified within weeks or months and a way of its production in Europe is found, it will take at least 10-14 months before its first batch is manufactured,” Breton said. “Why not. But it will not be a response to our today’s problems.”
Russia was the world’s first to register an anti-coronavirus vaccine on August 11, 2020. The vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Health Ministry, was given the name Sputnik V. It is a vector vaccine based on the human adenovirus
In early February 2020, The Lancet, a world-acclaimed medical journal, published the results of the third phase of Sputnik V clinical tests.
The vaccine has proved to be among the world’s safest and most efficient. Thus, its efficacy is estimated at 91.6% and 91.8% among volunteers older than 60. Ninety-eight percent of volunteers developed antibodies to the coronavirus.
The vaccine has been registered in 57 world nations, including EU countries Hungary and Slovakia, with an overall population of more than 1.5 billion.
The European Medicines Agency said on March 4 it had begun the Sputnik V evaluation procedures to look at its compliance with the EU efficacy, safety and quality standards. The Agency anticipates that the registration of the Russian vaccine could be over by late May.
As of today, four coronavirus vaccines have been certified for use in the European Union.
They are vaccines of BioNTech-Pfizer, US’ Moderna, British-Swedish Astra-Zeneca, and Janssen, a US Johnson & Johnson branch.