Friday, March 5th, 2021
Wait for approval by EMA
France warns of the use of Sputnik-V
EU countries that administer Russian or Chinese vaccines before they have been approved by the EU Pharmaceutical Agency are jeopardizing solidarity within the international community. At least France warns against this and is also addressing Germany’s direct neighbors.
France warns the EU countries against using the vaccines from China and Russia before they are approved by European authorities. Such a deployment would be a problem with a view to the solidarity of the international community and the health risks, said France’s European Minister Clement Beaune to RTL Radio.
The Russian vaccine Sputnik V has already been approved or is about to be approved in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The EU Pharmaceutical Authority (EMA) announced on Thursday that it would start with a continuous data check of Sputnik V. This can accelerate a later EU-wide approval.
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas declared yesterday that he had no problem with vaccine exports from China and Russia, not even with those that went to Europe. Reports that China would supply 46 countries and produce two billion vaccine doses by the end of the year did not shake him, said the SPD politician after a meeting with Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic in Berlin. The German pharmaceutical company Biontech and its US partner company Pfizer would also produce two billion vaccine doses this year alone. In addition, twice as many people are already vaccinated in the European Union as in Russia and China.
“If you look at these numbers, you don’t always have to be so excited when vaccines are delivered to other countries from China or Russia,” Maas emphasized. “We in Europe do not have to hide with what we are doing and with what we are doing and what we have already done.” Maas also pointed out that every third euro of the international Covax vaccination initiative for poorer countries comes from the EU. This year Covax should receive three billion vaccinations for more than 140 countries.
Several European countries are already using vaccines from China and Russia. Serbia has received 1.5 million cans from the Chinese Sinopharm since January, and two million cans from the Russian Sputnik V are due to be delivered by the end of April. Hungary was the first EU country to start administering the Chinese active ingredient, even though it has not yet been approved by the EU Medicines Agency (EMA). On Wednesday it became known that the Czech President Milos Zeman had also turned to the Chinese President Xi Jinping with a request for help with vaccination.