A French government minister called on European Union countries today, Friday, to refrain from using Russian or Chinese vaccines against Corona, before the Union’s Medicines Regulatory Authority approves them, warning of a threat to the unity of the bloc and the public health of its residents.
After a faltering start to the European Union vaccination campaign that left the bloc lagging behind countries like Britain, some member states in Central Europe have already bought or are considering buying Russian or Chinese vaccines.In response to a question whether every country in the Union is now simply acting “according to its desire”, Minister for European Affairs Clement Boone told Radio RTL: “If they choose the Chinese or Russian vaccine, I think the situation will be very dangerous.”
He said: “This will raise a problem of solidarity between us, and a problem of health risk, because the Russian vaccine has not yet been approved in Europe.”
The European Union deals with securing the vaccine centrally, through the European Commission.
However, the Russian “Sputnik V” vaccine has been approved or is being evaluated in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Hungary has already begun vaccinating the Chinese Sinopharm and Sputnik in, and Poland is discussing purchasing the Chinese vaccine.
On Thursday, the Medicines Regulatory Authority in Europe said it had begun reviewing Sputnik’s vaccine. But even if it agrees, the European Commission does not have to include it in its program.
Europe has so far approved the Virisbontec, Moderna and AstraZeneca Oxford vaccines, while it is reviewing the candidate vaccines from Curvac and Novavax.
The European Medicines Regulatory Authority is expected to issue its ruling on the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine on March 11.
Hungary was the first country in the European Union to agree to the emergency use of the Russian vaccine in January, and Slovakia had requested shipments from it, and the Czech Prime Minister said that his country may move to use Sputnik in.