The European Union’s top foreign affairs official threw his weight behind Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine on Friday after it was found to have a 91.6-per-cent efficacy rate in an internationally recognized study.
During a visit to Moscow, Josep Borrell congratulated Russia on the achievement and said he hoped the European Medicines Agency (EMA) would approve the drug for use in the bloc.
“As you know, we are facing a shortage of vaccines” and another source would be welcome, the senior EU official said at a press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
The peer-reviewed results of clinical trials – conducted in the Russian capital by the Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology – were published in prestigious medical journal The Lancet earlier this week.
Borell said this was “good news for the whole mankind.”
The European Commission has inked on behalf of member states six contracts with vaccine producers providing as many as 2.3 billion doses. Sputnik V is not yet one, and according to EMA the producers have not yet requested market authorization.
EU state Hungary independently granted emergency approval for the Russian vaccine.
Russia approved the vaccine as the first in the world for widespread use in August, although the fact that key testing had not been completed at the time-triggered international criticism.