Germany, France in talks with Putin for doses of Russian jab

Germany, France in talks with Putin for doses of Russian jab

Leaders discussed opportunities for cooperation in the vaccine sector ahead of the EMA evaluation of Sputnik V (Photo: Getty / AP / Reuters)

Germany and France have held talks with Vladimir Putin to purchase doses of the Russian-made Covid-19 vaccine after Angela Merkel suspended use of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine for those under 60.

The German Chancellor has announced that if she will receive the vaccine from Oxford in turn, its deployment among younger people will be temporarily halted.

Ms Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron now appear to have turned to Russia to discuss the rollout of its Sputnik V vaccine if approved by health regulators.

It comes after German authorities identified 31 cases of blood clots known as cerebral sinus venous thrombosis in people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Of those, 29 were women and nine resulted in deaths, they said.

Despite an increase in infections, Germans under the age of 60 will no longer be recommended the AstraZeneca jab.

Health officials said anyone under 60 who received a first dose of the vaccine could choose to continue with their second.

In Canada, authorities have reduced its use and France has yet to approve it for younger cohorts.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel briefs media at the Berlin Chancellery (Photo: AP)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 22: French President Emmanuel Macron receives the President of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed El-Menfi (not seen) and the Vice-President of the Libyan Presidential Council, Moussa Al-Koni (not seen), at the Elysée, in Paris, March 23, 2021 (Photo by Julien Mattia / Agence Anadolu via Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron was also on call (Photo: Agence Anadolu via Getty Images)

Speaking last night, Merkel said: “I said when it was my turn I would get the vaccine, also with AstraZeneca. The possibility that I might be vaccinated is approaching.

She said of the Sputnik shots last week: “On the Russian vaccine, I have been of the opinion for some time that we should use any vaccine that has been approved by the European medicines regulator. ”

A spokesman for the German Ministry of Health added that “all vaccines are welcome if they have been approved by the EMA (European Medicines Agency)”.

The EMA launched an ongoing review of the Sputnik V vaccine this month. It would become the first non-Western Covid-19 jab to be used in the 27-nation bloc if it gets the green light.

Ms Merkel and Mr Macron’s offices said in their readings of the appeal that the three leaders discussed possibilities for cooperation in the vaccine sector in preparation for the EMA’s assessment of Sputnik V, which is carried out according to the same standards as those applicable vaccines.

FILE PHOTO: Workers watch the shipment of Russian vaccine Sputnik V against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the airport in Caracas, Venezuela, March 29, 2021. REUTERS / Manaure Quintero / File Photo

Workers unload a shipment of Russian vaccine against Sputnik V at the airport in Caracas, Venezuela (Photo: Reuters)

Meanwhile, world leaders have called for a treaty to “systematically address the gaps revealed by Covid-19” regarding research, information sharing, production and distribution of drugs and vaccines.

It would be based on the constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO), including the principles of “health for all and no discrimination,” said the organization’s director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Twenty-four world leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as well as Macron and Merkel, have called for such a treaty.

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