Russian vaccine: a major turnaround in Slovakia

Slovakia is still buying a Russian vaccine against the coronavirus disease, Sputnik V, Prime Minister Igor Matovic announced on Friday, contradicting a decision made at the government’s meeting last night. At a press conference, the prime minister added that he had agreed with Russia to supply two million doses of Sputnik V vaccine by the end of June. This is “a minor miracle” amid the current shortage of vaccines in the world, MTI quotes.

At its Thursday evening meeting, the coalition government had even refused to purchase a Russian vaccine without the approval of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The acquisition was proposed by Matovic and his party, the coalition leader OLaNO, but the decision to do so was vetoed by one of the coalition partners, the People’s Party. Veronika Remisová, Deputy Prime Minister and President for the People, stated that they insist that they should not be vaccinated in Slovakia with a vaccine that has not been approved by the EMA.

However, on Friday, Remisová already stated that the Minister of Health belonging to OLaNO, Marek Krajcí, in the current legal situation, has the right to decide on the use of vaccines without the approval of the Cabinet. Prime Minister Matovic also encouraged his minister to allow the use of Sputnik V, as has been done with other medicines that have not yet been registered. The procurement was also supported by the Slovak Public Health Agency (UVZ).

The Prime Minister criticized the previous day’s rejection of the Russian vaccine, pointing out that the use of Sputnik V had already been approved by 29 other countries in addition to neighboring Hungary. Regarding the situation of the vaccination campaign in Slovakia, he said that the countries of the European Union are at a loss against the coronavirus epidemic due to the delayed delivery of vaccines procured in the EU. Matovic also referred to a survey by the AKO polling institute, which found that Slovaks are increasingly willing to vaccinate themselves against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19 disease.

Slovakia is currently facing an extremely strong second wave of the coronavirus epidemic, ranking first in the world in the number of fatalities per capita. Hospitals are increasingly struggling with a severe shortage of doctors and nurses. The number of patients treated in hospitals on Wednesday was around 3,900, several hundred of whom are in serious condition, with 328 people in need of a ventilator. On Thursday, Austria, Poland and Hungary also offered to help Slovakia fight the coronavirus epidemic.

Source: by

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