Thursday 10/28/21
VACCINATION

Germany set for talks with Russia on Sputnik V as calls for jab grow

Health Minister Jens Spahn on Thursday announced the talks about potential deliveries, after the European Commission said it would not make central contracts to order Sputnik V.

30 March 2021, Argentina, Buenos Aires: Shipments of the Russian Corona vaccine Sputnik V are unloaded after the arrival of a Aerolineas Argentinas plane delivering about vaccine 300,000 doses from Russia at the international airport Buenos Aires. Photo: Carol Smiljan/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire/dpa
Shipments of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V are unloaded at the international airport in Buenos Aires. Photo: Carol Smiljan/dpa.
Germany is set to conduct talks with Russia about potential delivery of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, even as individual German states are starting to strike their own deals with Moscow.

Health Minister Jens Spahn on Thursday announced the talks about potential deliveries, should the jab is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is currently reviewing Sputnik V for authorization in the European Union.

Spahn urged caution, arguing the debate about Sputnik must not become a distraction, since Russia first needed to provide the data to the EU for authorization.

Once the vaccine gets the green light, Germany would speak to Russia directly, after the European Commission on Wednesday said it would not make central contracts to order Sputnik V like with other manufacturers, Spahn said.

The minister also said that, to make a real difference to the slow vaccination campaign in Germany, the Russian shots would have to arrive in the next few months.

States making own deals

Meanwhile, some of German's 16 states are striking their own deals with Russia.

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, in the north, on Thursday said it had secured the option of receiving 1 million doses of Sputnik V to improve the speed of its vaccination campaign.

"We are interested in long-term cooperation with Russia. Moreover, the state is assessing if local firms can facilitate production or packaging," state Health Minister Harry Glawe said.

On Wednesday, the southern state of Bavaria announced it would receive 2.5 million doses of the shot and aimed to produce it at a local factory.

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