BELGRADE (Sputnik) – Slovenia may purchase Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 before the approval of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and start using the drug right after the vaccine receives EU authorization, a spokesman for the country’s National Institute of Public Health (NJIZ) said on Saturday.
“The NJIZ vaccination advisory group has recommended that Slovenian authorities purchase those COVID-19 vaccines that are still awaiting EMA approval, including Russia’s Sputnik V. The head of the group, Bojana Beovic, explained that the drugs will be stored in the so-called quarantine warehouses, and can be used immediately after getting the approval by [EU] the regulator,” the spokesman said as quoted by STA state-run news agency.
Slovenia with a population of about 2 million people has recorded nearly 231,000 cases of COVID-19, including 4,147 fatalities.
In the meantime, the EMA has been evaluating Sputnik V since March 4. However, several EU countries, including Slovakia and Hungary, have already approved its use without waiting for EMA authorization. Overall, the Russian vaccine has been approved in 60 countries worldwide. Regional authorities of several European states, including Italy and Spain, have been negotiating the issue of the supply of Sputnik V pending EMA’s approval of the vaccine.
The vaccine efficacy has been confirmed at 91.6 percent by the data published in the world’s leading medical journal The Lancet.