Germany said Thursday that it would discuss the purchase of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine with Russia, awaiting approval from European regulators, without waiting for EU coordinated action.
Health Minister Jens Spahn said Germany was ready to go on its own without the other 26 members if Germany could speed up its vaccination campaign amid the block division over Sputnik.
“The EU Commission said yesterday that it would not sign the contract (of Sputnik) like other manufacturers such as BioNTech, so I said … we will have bilateral talks with Russia,” Spahn said. Told the public broadcaster WDR.
The minister did not say when the talks would take place, but said he would initially cover “when supplies could arrive.”
“To really make a difference in our current situation, delivery must be done within the next two to four or five months, otherwise we have a sufficient number of vaccines,” Spahn said. Says.
He said Germany is seeking “a binding commitment to the amount of money that can be specifically reached in Germany after regulatory approval.”
Germany has so far coordinated vaccine purchases with the EU.
Since the inoculation began in late December, Germany has introduced vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna.
Johnson & Johnson’s fourth will be rolled out across the block in the coming weeks.
However, Bavaria in southern Germany said Wednesday that it had signed an intention to purchase up to 2.5 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine if approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
In addition to the option to import Russian vaccines, a production facility will be set up by the pharmaceutical company R-Pharm in Illertissen, western Munich.
And on Thursday, Nord Stream 2, a fiercely contested Russian-German gas pipeline in the less populated East German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, was nearing completion and pre-ordered a million Sputniks. ..
“We are currently in the process of relying heavily on too few manufacturers,” state health minister Harry Grau reportedly said by the DPA news agency.
“We are interested in long-term cooperation with Russia, and we are also considering whether companies based here can work on filling and producing vials.”
Germany’s relatively slow vaccine deployment has become a lightning rod issue as it addresses the third wave of pandemics.
Only 13 percent of the population received the first of two doses, as the country reported more than 20,000 new infections and more than 300 deaths in 24 hours on Thursday.
However, the deal with Russia is controversial as the two countries are worried about issues such as repeated Russian cyberattacks on the West, the treatment of the Kremlin against opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and heightened tensions at the Ukrainian border. May brew.
EMA has launched a rolling review of Sputnik V. It could be the first non-Western coronavirus vaccine approved for use in 27 countries.
However, Russia has faced criticism in several Western countries, and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has accused Moscow and China of using vaccines to gain influence abroad.
EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton, who has long been skeptical of Sputnik, said he suspected that Russian and Chinese vaccines could be deployed fast enough to support the campaign meaningfully.
“Can they be added to the European vaccine portfolio and added to the immune target for the summer of 2021? I think the answer is no,” he said.
Russia registered Sputnik V in August prior to a large clinical trial, raising concerns about the fast-track process among experts.
However, subsequent reviews are generally positive, and the publications of the medical journal The Lancet show that it is safe and more than 90% effective.
Spahn said Spahn, like “all other” manufacturers, needs to provide the EMA with the clinical data needed to obtain approval.
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