If a particular vaccine has successfully passed the registration process by European authorities, it cannot be prevented from being used for political or other reasons, Marian Hajduch, director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine at Palacky University in the Czech city of Olomouc, told reporters Friday, commenting on the possible use of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine in the Czech Republic.
“In a situation where there is a noticeable shortage of vaccines in the global pandemic, I would consider it simply unethical to prevent the use of this or that vaccine for political or other reasons. “Besides, Sputnik V has a much better track record than AstraZeneca, which is laid on a similar principle,” said Gaiduch, who served as national coordinator for COVID-19 testing until the end of December 2020.
Haidukh reminded that Sputnik V has already been submitted for registration to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for use in the European Union. So far, of the EU countries, only Hungary has started the independent procurement of Sputnik V.
“I assume that in the near future the EMA will approve it (the use of Russian vaccine in the EU countries – ed.),” the expert added.
A leading Czech epidemiologist, Rastislav Magyar, who until recently headed the government’s medical advisory group, wrote on Twitter Friday that preliminary results of testing the Sputnik V vaccine in 25 hospitals and polyclinics in Moscow, in which more than 16,000 people participated, confirmed its effectiveness with a high rate of 91.6% on day 21 after the second vaccination.
In turn, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Health Affairs and former head of the Ministry of Health Roman Primula stated that the Czech Republic, in his opinion, should follow Hungary’s example and buy Sputnik V vaccine on its own without waiting for its registration in the EMA. According to him, Brussels has already confirmed that Hungary’s actions do not contradict EU legislation.
On Friday, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš flew to Budapest with a group of medical experts to review the use of Sputnik V in Hungary. Next week, Babiš wants to visit Serbia, which has also begun using the Russian vaccine, for the same purpose.