EU circles: Von der Leyen open for Sputnik approval

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EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has shown herself open to a possible approval of the Russian Corona vaccine in the European Union, according to parliamentary sources. If Russian as well as Chinese manufacturers showed transparency and disclosed “all data” on their vaccines, they could possibly receive approvals, von der Leyen was quoted as saying by EU parliamentarians on Tuesday.

The Commission chief had spoken to MEPs about the Corona situation. She is currently under heavy criticism for delays in the delivery of vaccine doses to EU countries. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also expressed openness to an approval of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. Any vaccine would be “warmly welcome” in the EU, provided the EU medicines agency EMA recommends it, she said in the ARD program “Farbe bekennen.”

In Austria, it was said on Tuesday from the Ministry of Health, one will “of course closely examine” the use of other vaccines within the framework of the Austrian vaccination strategy, should it come to further approvals in the EU. In principle, however, the need for vaccine doses is well covered by the joint European procurement process. Earlier, FPÖ federal party leader Norbert Hofer had called Sputnik V “an opportunity for Austria”. It would be time to make contact with Russia, “just as Hungary has already done successfully,” he stressed.

A study published on Tuesday had shown that Sputnik V was more than 90 percent effective. According to the research published by the British journal The Lancet, the vaccine protected 91.6 percent of subjects from symptomatic covid-19 disease in the third and final phase of clinical trials. According to the authors, the vaccine was also well tolerated by study participants.

Russia had already begun vaccinating at-risk groups with Sputnik V in December and launched its large-scale vaccination campaign in January. The vaccine, which was developed by the Gamaleja Research Center and named after a Soviet satellite, was approved in Russia in August – even before the final studies were completed. This approach was met with sharp international criticism and reservations.

— source: kurier.at/picture:aerzteblatt.de

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