Slovakia becomes second European Union country to approve Russia’s Sputnik

Slovakia has become the second European Union country to authorize the use of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – Slovakia on Wednesday became the second European Union country to authorize the use of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, which has not yet been approved by the block’s drug regulator.

The Slovak government asked Health Minister Vladimir Lengvarsky – who has expressed reservations about the Russian COVID-19 vaccine – to make it available by 7 June. Slovakia has 200,000 doses of Sputnik V in stock, but its use is not permitted until now.

Hungary is the only EU country to use Sputnik V, which has not been authorized by the European Medicine Agency (EMA).

A secret deal by Slovakia’s then Prime Minister Igor Matovic to buy 2 million Sputnik V shots caused a political crisis in March that resulted in the collapse of the Slovak government.

The use of the vaccine still remains controversial.

Lengvarsky said on Tuesday that he would prefer to have Sputnik V first authorized by the EMA before being administered in his country.

When asked if he was ready to take a shot of Sputnik V or would recommend it to his relatives, he replied “no” on Wednesday.

Slovakia is managing Pfizer, Modern and AstraZeneca jabs, and will also use Johnson & Johnson – all authorized by the EMA.

Lengvarsky said that Sputnik V will be given to people between the ages of 18 and 60 because their country does not have enough information to allow it for older people from Russia.

He added that the Slovak state takes responsibility for the potentially negative side effects of the vaccine.

After using 200,000 Sputnik V shots, more Russian vaccines will be imported into the country only after being approved by the EMA, Lengvarsky said.

The country, with a population of 54 lakhs, has fully vaccinated 774,928 people. More than 1.6 million received at least one shot.


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