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Germany set for talks with Russia on Sputnik V

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Germany to conduct talks with Russia about potential delivery of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine should it be approved for German use, even as individual states strike their own deals with Moscow.

Health Minister, Jens Spahn on Thursday announced the talks about potential deliveries, should the jab be approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is currently reviewing Sputnik V for authorisation in the European Union.

Spahn urged caution, arguing the debate about Sputnik must not become a distraction, since Russia first needed to provide the data to the EU for authorisation.

Once the vaccine gets the green light, Germany would speak to Russia directly, after the European Commission on Wednesday said it would not make central contracts to order Sputnik V like with other manufacturers, Spahn said.

The minister also said that, to make a real difference to the slow vaccination campaign in Germany, the Russian shots would have to arrive in the next few months.

Meanwhile, some of German’s 16 states are striking their own deals with Russia.

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, in the north, on Thursday said it had secured the option of receiving 1 million doses of Sputnik V to improve the speed of its vaccination campaign.

“We are interested in long-term cooperation with Russia. Moreover, the state is assessing if local firms can facilitate production or packaging,” state Health Minister, Harry Glawe, said.

On Wednesday, the southern state of Bavaria announced it would receive 2.5 million doses of the shot and aimed to produce it at a local factory. (Dpa/NAN)


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