EU won't order Russia vaccine, German minister says

EU won't order Russia vaccine, German minister says
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The European Union will not order Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Germany’s health minister said on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

Health Minister Jens Spahn, during a public radio appearance, said that the European Union executive commission would not order doses of the Sputnik V vaccine for its member countries, which it did with vaccines from other manufacturers, the AP reported.

Spahn told the EU health ministers that Germany “will talk bilaterally to Russia, first of all about when what quantities could come,” to see if ordering the doses from the country makes sense.

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“To really make a difference in our current situation, the deliveries would have to come in the next two to four or five months already,” Spahn said, adding that if delivered on any other time frame, Germany would have “more than enough vaccine” already.

Spahn also noted that the Sputnik V vaccine would have to be cleared for use by the European Medicines Agency, and “for that, Russia must deliver data.”

Markus Söder, the state premier of Bavaria, a southern region of Germany, announced on Wednesday that he was signing a provisional agreement to purchase 2.5 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, Politico reported.

Söder noted, however, that the vaccine would not be administered before it receives regulatory approval from the European Medicines Agency. He added that the region would probably receive the doses in July.

"If Sputnik is approved in Europe, then the Free State of Bavaria will receive additional vaccine doses — I think it's 2.5 million doses — probably in July through this company that is operating in Bavaria, in Illertissen, to then once again increase the additional capacity for vaccination in Bavaria," Söder said, according to Politico.

Last month, a spokesman from the Kremlin said there is “unprecedented” pressure on countries to reject Russia’s Sputnik COVID-19 vaccine.

“In many countries, the scale of pressure is quite unprecedented. ... Such selfish attempts to force countries to abandon any vaccines have no prospects,” Dmitry Peskov said.

“We believe that there should be as many doses of vaccines as possible so that all countries, including the poorest, have the opportunity to stop the pandemic,” he added.