The Czech Republic is considering the acquisition of the Russia-developed vaccine for Coronavirus, namely Sputnik V, in a bid to respond to delivery delays by the EU-approved drug companies.
Last week, the country’s PM, Andrej Babis visited Budapest to enquire about Hungary’s purchase of Sputnik V. Hungary has been the first country to greenlight the Russian jab, despite frequent warnings by the EU that the move would undermine trust in vaccines.
During the visit with his Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orban, Babis argued that the possible acquisition should be seen with a political lens, also supporting that his country is willing to proceed with any vaccine deemed safe and effective, regardless of its origin.
With the country facing vaccination delays due to production bottlenecks, several politicians and health experts have called on the Hungarian government to consider buying jabs from companies not included in the EU’s vaccines portfolio.
Europe’s medicines watchdog, namely the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has so far given the nod to the vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca/Oxford.
On Wednesday, Babis also visited Serbia, which is championing inoculation programmes in Europe, after Britain, as it is using the Russian and Chinese COVID-19 vaccines.
“I have been trying to gather as much information about other vaccines that have not been approved,” Babis said after meeting with the Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, according to AFP.
“It is of utmost importance for us to get as many safe vaccines as possible,” the Czech PM said before adding that “We should abandon politics and talk about people’s health, because the (virus) situation in the Czech Republic is not good.”