While Europe has previously described Russia’s COVID-19 Sputnik V vaccine as little more than a self-aggrandizing stunt by a non-friendly nation, the EU may be changing its mind behind the scenes.
With efforts to vaccinate Europe’s 450 million residents encountering difficulties, an EU source told Reuters that turning to Moscow for vaccine help is being considered.
The official, who is involved with EU vaccine negotiations, in an interview with Reuters said that the 27-member bloc was in the process of investigating whether to begin talks with the Russian vaccine’s developers, and that it would seek interested EU states.
Hungary and Slovakia have already individually purchased the Sputnik vaccine, with the Czech Republic interested in doing the same.
The EU source mentioned Italian vaccine producer ReiThera as a candidate for manufacturing Sputnik for the European market.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has begun a rolling review of Sputnik V after an application by R-Pharm Germany GmbH.
The green light on the review is based on lab and clinical studies in adults. Sputnik triggers antibody production in immune cells which target the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and protect against COVID-19.
The EU currently has six contracts with western vaccine manufacturers.
A deal with Moscow would be a coup for Russia, a country which has been hit hard by Western sanctions over its annexation of Crimea and its activities in eastern Ukraine.
Source: Dan Verbin – Arutz Sheva