Germany is reportedly considering buying the Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine even if some of its European partners choose not to, according to Chancellor chief spokeswoman Angela Merkel.
Germany signed Until a program in which the European Union is responsible for procuring most of the coronavirus vaccines purchased by the bloc. However, Merkel’s government could consider buying the Sputnik itself as long as it is approved in the normal way by the EU regulator, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Wednesday at a conference. regular press.
He was speaking after Merkel discussed Sputnik and “opportunities for cooperation in the vaccine industry” with Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron in a call Tuesday. The German leader has come under pressure to consider adding Sputnik to the country’s list of approved Covid-19 vaccines to help speed up its stuttering inoculation campaign.
“Germany doesn’t judge a vaccine by which country it comes from, but by whether it meets European Medicines Agency criteria,” Seibert said. “We are not there yet and have to wait for the evaluation.”
Germany is closely involved in the Sputnik approval process as it is one of the EMA’s so-called “rapporteurs” for the evaluation of the vaccine, said Hanno Kautz, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Health, at the same press conference. The rapporteur leads an assessment team with officials from their national agency or other national agencies.
However, Kautz said Germany has yet to receive data on the shot, suggesting the process may take some time.EU leaders were told by videoconference last week that it could take three to four months for Sputnik to receive EMA approval, according to a diplomatic cable seen by Bloomberg. Some executives questioned whether the drug would still be needed at this point, according to the memo.
Russia has persuaded more than 50 countries to approve Sputnik V, with several million doses already delivered to Latin America, the biggest demand to date.
Austria is in talks to buy the vaccine as early as next week and could receive up to 300,000 doses of Sputnik in April, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Wednesday after a meeting with the Russian ambassador in Vienna.
“We are still coordinating the details and have already had weeks of discussions,” Kurz said in a statement. He did not say whether Austria would wait for EMA approval.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund, which has supported the development of the vaccine and is in charge of its international deployment, has drawn up plans to boost production abroad to provide injections to nearly one in ten people in the region. planet this year.
– With the help of Alberto Nardelli and Boris Groendahl