Cyprus decides to buy Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine pending EMA approval

Nicosia, March 17 : Cyprus has decided to buy 50,000 doses of Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine once it is cleared by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), government spokesman Kyriakos Koushos said on Tuesday.

He noted that the decision was made 15 days ago under a bilateral agreement with Russia, adding there is a possibility to buy more Sputnik V vaccine depending on the availability of other vaccines, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Two other European Union (EU) countries, Hungary and Slovakia, have already acquired the Russian vaccine.

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Cyprus has placed orders for coronavirus vaccines collectively with all other EU countries with pharmaceutical companies with which the European Commission has struck commercial agreements on behalf of the member states.

So far, four vaccines — Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson — have been approved by the EMA.

Cyprus, along with a cluster of European countries including Germany, France, Spain and Italy, has suspended the use of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine over blood clot concerns.

They described the move as a precautionary measure pending a decision by the EMA, which had greenlighted the use of the vaccine in the bloc on January 29.

A total of 263 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 81 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain, and the United States, according to latest information released by the World Health Organization.

The EMA said on March 4 that it had started a rolling review of the Sputnik V vaccine so as to be in a position to speed up any approval once the Russian side submits the marketing authorisation application for the vaccine.

Russian scientists have said that Sputnik V was almost 92 per cent effective against the coronavirus, based on peer-reviewed late-stage trial results published in the Lancet medical journal last month.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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