San Marino starts corona vaccination with Russian vaccine Sputnik

Dhe pioneer of San Marino is Matteo Bedetti and is 26 years old. The paramedic was vaccinated against Sars-CoV-2 on Thursday afternoon as the first citizen of the dwarf republic near Rimini on the Adriatic coast. With the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. Bedetti, as the Italian media noted with a certain shudder at the historical event, the first person “sul suolo della penisola” on the soil of the Apennine peninsula to be injected with the Russian vaccine. Bedetti was followed on Thursday by a good two dozen doctors and nurses, technicians and administrative employees, all of whom work in the Covid-19 department of the state clinic in San Marino. According to reports from San Marino, 26 people are currently being treated there, ten of them in the intensive care unit.

Matthias Rüb

Matthias Rüb

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta, based in Rome.

That’s a lot for a state with around 33,800 inhabitants. Vaccination registration began on Friday for San Marines over 75 years of age. The first delivery of 7,500 cans of Sputnik V is to be inoculated as soon as possible. Further deliveries from Moscow are promised. Because the dwarf state on Monte Titano, which is believed to be the oldest republic that still exists today, can proudly trace its founding back to the year 301, was hit hard by the pandemic. 73 mostly elderly people died in connection with Covid-19, with a total of 3,621 confirmed infections. In relation to the total number of inhabitants, San Marino has the relatively highest death rate worldwide with 216 victims per 100,000 inhabitants.

Inquiries from Italy

As early as January 10, the health authorities of San Marino had signed a protocol with the Ministry of Health in Rome, according to which the dwarf republic on Titan Mountain, which is surrounded by the Italian regions of Emilia Romagna and Marche, should be supplied with vaccines by Italy. San Marino is not a member of the EU, but is closely linked to Italy in many ways: The national language is Italian, the currency is the euro, and the only border between Italy and San Marino is on the map. But the promised vaccines from the stock of EU deliveries for Italy did not arrive in San Marino: The government in Rome had so much to do with the stuttering start of its own national vaccination campaign that the agreed friendship service with vaccines for San Marino was forgotten or postponed has been.

In San Marino, the “Russian Direct Investment Fund” was therefore contacted. And “thanks to the strong bilateral relations between San Marino and the Russian Federation”, as it is said in an official communication from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of San Marino, an agreement was reached immediately and shortly thereafter an appointment. The first batch of vaccines arrived from Moscow earlier this week. According to official information, San Marino pays the usual price of 8.50 euros per can of Sputnik V.

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The Italian Ministry of Health has confirmed that the national institute for infectious diseases has confirmed the effectiveness of Sputnik V in its own study. And in the medical journal “The Lancet” at the beginning of February the Russian vaccine was certified to be 91.6 percent effective. But Sputnik V cannot be administered in Italy because the vaccine has not yet been approved by either the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the Italian pharmaceuticals authority Aifa. The health authorities of the regions of Emilia Romagna and Marche saw themselves compelled to dissuade Italian citizens from vaccination prices or attempted to buy vaccine in San Marino. “The vaccine is not approved and can therefore not be given to Italians at this time,” said Raffaele Donini, Minister of Health of Emilia Romagna, this week in Bologna.

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