EMA begins rolling review of Sputnik V vaccine

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A dose of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine being prepared for use. (Photo by Natalia KOLESNIKOVA / AFP) (Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images)
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Thomson Reuters

Russia expects several European Union countries to approve the use of its Sputnik V vaccine this month and Moscow could provide vaccines for 50 million Europeans starting from June if the shot wins EU-wide approval, Russia's RDIF fund said on Thursday.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the RDIF sovereign wealth fund that is promoting Sputnik V internationally, was speaking after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it had begun a rolling review of Sputnik V.

Studies show the Russian-made vaccine produces antibodies and immune cells that may help protect against Covid-19.

The EMA says it will evaluate data as it becomes available and will decide if the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.

Dmitriev told Reuters that the shot could act as a bridge between Russia and Europe, and that its potential roll-out should not get bogged down in politics.

Despite Russia's confidence, the European Commission confirmed there were no talks yet under way to buy the shot.

"Currently no talks are ongoing to integrate the Sputnik vaccine in the portfolio," of Covid-19 shots ordered by the European Union, the spokesman told a news conference.

Professor of Immunology at Trinity College Dublin, Luke O'Neill believes it will be approved for use in Europe.

"[It's] a very safe vaccine. It's been in millions and millions of people, even though were anxious about it.

"It's been in 50 million people with great safety profiles, it's highly efficacious, so why wouldn't the EMA approve it," Prof O'Neill said.

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