European Medicines Agency Official Urges EU Members to Delay Approval for Russia’s Sputnik V COVID Vaccine

European Medicines Agency (EMA) board chair Christa Wirthumer-Hoche warned that immediately granting market authorization to Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine would be like playing Russian roulette.

Hoche also criticized the rollouts in several EU states that were made without authorization.

Hungary has already approved Sputnik V but the EMA is still undergoing its review and has yet to give the green light for other states. 

In response to Hoche’s remarks, the Sputnik V manufacturers demanded a public apology from her. 

“We demand a public apology from EMA’s Christa Wirthumer-Hoche for her negative comments on EU states directly approving Sputnik V.  Her comments raise serious questions about possible political interference in the ongoing EMA review. Sputnik V is approved by 46 nations,” said the Sputnik V manufacturers. 

Despite Hoch’s statements, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have also ordered doses while the Moscow-based RDIF sovereign wealth fund and Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Adienne have signed a deal to mass-produce it in Italy. 

“What we are offering is a true production partnership that will create jobs in Italy, and you can control the product, because it will be produced in Italy, and this product can not only save many lives in Italy, but it can be exported,” said Kirill Dmitriev, RDIF head. 

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