Slovak PM secretly orders 2 million doses of Sputnik V – Russian vaccine for COVID-19

Russian vaccine Sputnik V hasn’t been approved by the European Medicines Agency. However, Slovakia’s Prime Minister Igor Matovic purchased 2 million doses despite a disagreement within the government coalition

Slovak Prime Minister, Igor Matovic, took his country by surprise on Monday. He announced that the government managed to order 2 million doses of the Russian vaccine against COVID-19, known as Sputnik V.  

He did so despite disagreements in the government coalition and the fact that the vaccine hasn’t yet been approved by the European Medicines Agency

The lack of official approval was the reason why the vice prime minister from the smallest party in the governmental coalition, Veronika Remišová, had blocked the usage of the Russian vaccine.

Matovic purchased the doses in secret. On Monday, the first 200.000 arrived at Košice airport and Matovic was there to pick up the goods. 

The head of the Slovak government claims that the delivery of vaccines approved by European authorities is too slow and the country cannot wait anymore. 

“I’m absolutely open to any vaccine that will be used in Slovakia. I have no issue with getting Sputnik V myself. I haven’t decided yet,” Matovic responded to a question if he will use Sputnik for his vaccination. 

Igor Matovic ordered 2 million doses of Sputnik V - Igor Matovic's Facebook page
Igor Matovic ordered 2 million doses of Sputnik V - Igor Matovic's Facebook page

He added that despite the purchase of Sputnik, the key part of the Slovak population will receive vaccines that the European Commission purchased for the EU member states, such as Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, or AstraZeneca.

Europe struggles with the lack of approved vaccines

Other countries in Central and South-Eastern Europe have been looking for alternatives to approved vaccines as the whole European Union is struggling with the lack of doses.

Hungary, for instance, is currently using both Sputnik V and the Chinese vaccine made by the Sinopharm company. Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbán got vaccinated by the Chinese variant publicly to prove that the vaccine is safe to use.

Sputnik V has also been a matter of discussion in the Czech Republic. The country’s president, Miloš Zeman, is pushing for the Russian vaccine to be used for the public.

However, the country’s Minister of Health, Jan Blatný, doesn’t want to distribute any vaccine that lacks approval by EMA. The minister is the one who has the final word on the matter.

Austria and Denmark, on the other hand, announced that they will cooperate with Israel to develop their own vaccine. receive vv

64% of Russians don’t trust Sputnik V

While a few countries have been applying or purchasing Sputnik V in their fight against COVID-19, it appears that the majority of Russians themselves refuse to take the vaccine.

According to a recent poll, they fear that the vaccine can have severe side effects.

The reason why Sputnik V hasn’t been approved by EMA is that nobody actually applied for the approval. According to experts, this very fact makes the vaccine untrustworthy.