Slovakia received the first batch of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine without waiting for the drug to be registered in the EU. The cargo was delivered from Moscow to the city of Kosice in the east of the country, said Prime Minister Igor Matovich. The Russian Direct Investment Fund announced that Sputnik V was approved for use in Slovakia.
“We began to buy Sputnik V vaccines in Russia without waiting for their registration with the European Medicines Agency (EMA), since there is no time for delay, there is not enough vaccines in the country, dozens of our fellow citizens die from COVID-19 every day,” said the prime minister during a press conference. This will help accelerate the pace of vaccination in the country, he said.
“RDIF announces registration of the Russian vaccine against coronavirus Sputnik V in the Slovak Republic. Slovakia became the 39th country in the world and the second country in the European Union to approve the use of the Sputnik V vaccine, the RDIF said in a statement. Hungary became the first EU country to approve the use of the Russian vaccine in February.
Earlier, Igor Matovich called on his government colleagues to order the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. This was hindered by ministers from the For People party, who want to wait for the drug to be registered in the European Union.
Now in Slovakia 4,008 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, almost a third of them are in intensive care and on ventilators. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 7,270 people have died. The population of Slovakia is 5.46 million people.
Earlier, Czech President Milos Zeman said that he had sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a request to deliver Sputnik V to the country. Czech Prime Minister Andrei Babish said that the approval of the European Medicines Agency is not required for mass vaccination with the Russian drug Sputnik V. According to him, the approval of the national regulator is enough.