Italian Official Urges EU to Expand Portfolio of COVID-19 Vaccines, Include Sputnik V

ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) – The European Union should avoid politicization of health-related issues and register for use a variety of vaccines, including Russia’s Sputnik V, Giovanni Toti, the president of Italy’s Liguria region, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

The Russian vaccine is currently under a rolling review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Tuesday that the first phase of the evaluation was completed and the EMA would next inspect the manufacturing facilities.

“We asked a lot of times why can’t we use Sputnik vaccine. We asked to have all kinds of vaccines. It is not important at the moment the origin of the vaccine. Europe should be open for use of different vaccines. I think the politics are involved, [and] it is disappointing,” Toti said.

The official stressed that the Russian vaccine could be useful to Europe where immunization programs have been progressing slowly.

Sputnik V, the world’s first registered coronavirus vaccine, has been approved for emergency use in 60 countries across the globe. The efficacy of the vaccine stands at 97.6%, based on the latest analysis of data on the post-vaccination infection percentage among 3.8 million vaccinated Russians. It is higher than the 91.6% efficacy shown in an interim analysis from the trial published in The Lancet in early February.

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