Vaccine: Animation demonstrates queue calculator
Jen Spahn said Berlin is open to introducing jabs from the rogue states to the EU’s faltering vaccine scheme. He claimed doses of Russia’s Sputnik V jab and China’s Sinopharm vaccine could be rolled out across the bloc if they are approved by the EU’s drugs watchdog. Mr Spahn said: “If a vaccine is safe and effective, regardless of the country in which it was manufactured, then, of course, it can help to cope with the pandemic.”
Russia had previously informed the EU that it would be able to supply the bloc 100 million doses of its Sputnik V jab by the end of June.
The move would enable 50 million people to be vaccinated across member states.
An authorisation application has been submitted with the Amsterdam-based European Medicines Agency for the Russian jab to be used in the bloc.
There are concerns about the safety and effectiveness of the Chinese and Russian vaccines.
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Experts claim they have not been properly tested before being given the green light for use in their own countries.
Hungary spooked the bloc when its own medicines regulator moved to approve the Chinese and Russian jabs for use.
Brussels hit out at Budapest for striking outside of the EU’s joint vaccine scheme but admitted it wasn’t illegal.
EU states are currently suffering a shortage of vaccine supplies amid an ongoing row with UK-based AstraZeneca.
Mr Spahn last week warned that Germany will struggle to procure enough Covid jabs for the next months.
He said: “We will still have at least 10 tough weeks with a shortage of vaccine.”
The shortfall comes after AstraZeneca announced it would only be able to supply 40 million doses of the Oxford-produced vaccine to the bloc by the end of March.
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The Anglo-Swedish firm was meant to supply 80 million doses to EU capitals during that period.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is holding an emergency summit with 16 state leaders and EU officials on the vaccine shortage.
Several Spanish regions have also voiced concern about the lack of vaccine supplies procured by the bloc.
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Madrid and Catalonia have both announced temporary suspensions of their Covid jab schemes.
Guntram Wolff, director of the Brugel think-tank in Brussels, said: “The lack of available vaccines is the number one political issue in Europe at the moment.
“It affects every family. People wonder why the vaccines are not coming. The pressure is enormous.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg
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