MOSCOW: Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine makers today demanded an apology from the European Union’s Medicines Regulatory Authority after a senior official warned member states against permission to expedite the vaccine, comparing emergency deployments to “Russian roulette”.
Several European Union countries have already begun distributing Sputnik V before approval in the bloc, a move that was criticized by European Medicines Agency (EMA) board chairman Krista Werthomer Hoch yesterday.
The vaccine makers wrote on Twitter: “We demand a public apology from EMA’s Christa Werthomer Hoch for her negative comments on EU countries that directly approve Sputnik V.”
“Her comments raise serious questions about potential political interference in the ongoing EMA review,” they said, adding that the domestic Russian vaccine has been approved by 46 countries.
Last week, the Amsterdam-based EMA launched a renewed review of the Sputnik V vaccine, a major step towards approval as the first non-Western injection to be used against the coronavirus across the 27-nation bloc.
Hungary has already approved Sputnik V and is starting to use it as part of their vaccine rollout, while the Czech Republic and Slovakia have also requested the doses and said they will not wait for EMA approval.
In response to a question about the possibility that Austria would take the same step, Werthomer Hoch told Austrian radio, ORF: “It is somewhat similar to Russian roulette.”
Russia said it was ready to punch 50 million Europeans as soon as Sputnik V gets the green light.