German vaccine official praises Russia’s Sputnik V jab

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The head of Germany’s top vaccine committee has praised the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 jab, which is yet to be approved by European regulators.

“It is a good vaccine which will probably be authorised in the EU at some point.

“ Russian researchers are very experienced with vaccinations, Sputnik V is cleverly built,’’Thomas Mertens, the head of Germany’s Standing Committee on Vaccination (Stiko), told the Rheinische Post newspaper in comments published on Wednesday.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is still reviewing Sputnik V.

The EU has already approved jabs from three producers to include Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

On March 11, the EMA is expected to recommend the approval of the vaccine from U.S. manufacturer Johnson&Johnson.

Italy on Tuesday announced that the Sputnik V jab will be produced in its Lombardy region from this summer, in the first deal between a European partner and the RDIF, the Russian direct investment fund behind Sputnik V.

But Vincenzo Tranzi, head of Italy’s chamber of commerce, said Rome was still collaborating with the European Union on the jab’s use, ANSA news agency reported.

Russia criticised the EMA on Tuesday after a representative of the agency warned EU states against approving the Russian vaccine before the EMA has reviewed its data, calling it a `Russian roulette.’

“Vaccines and the EMA should stand above and beyond politics,’’ said a statement posted on the Sputnik V Telegram channel.

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