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Putin, Kurz discuss possible supplies of Sputnik V vaccine to Austria

The agenda included the issue of the preparation's joint production, the Kremlin press service informed

MOSCOW, February 26. /TASS/. Combating the coronavirus pandemic and possible supplies of the Russian Sputnik V anti-coronavirus vaccine to Austria were among the topics discussed over the phone by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the Kremlin press service said on Friday.

"The sides discussed in detail issues of combating the novel coronavirus infection, including possible supplies of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to Austria, as well as its possible joint production," it said. "The sides agreed to maintain close contacts between the two countries’ relevant agencies."

The conversation was initiated by the Austrian side.

The spokesman for the Austrian chancellor specified, as cited by the Austria Press Agency, that Vienna eyed supplies of the Russian jab on condition of its approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). "Kurz and Putin discussed possible supplies of Sputnik V after its approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA)," the spokesman said, adding that the sides also touched upon the issues of the vaccine’s registration by EMA.

A representative of the Austrian government told TASS on February 20 that Vienna had received an application from Russia to organize Sputnik V production at Austrian production facilities. Before that, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev said in an interview with Austria’s O-1 radio station that Russia was in talks with a number of Austrian companies on possible arrangement of Sputnik V production.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in an interview with the Welt am Sonntag newspaper on February 7 that Austria would be ready to organize production of the Russian and Chinese anti-coronavirus vaccines if they were registered by the European Medicines Agency. So far, according to the country’s Ministry of Health, Austria is not planning to certify the Russian vaccine bypassing the European Medicines Agency.

A vaccination campaign against the novel coronavirus infection kicked off in Austria in December 2020. Currently, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines are being used.

Sputnik V

Russia was the world’s first country to register an anti-coronavirus vaccine on August 11, 2020. The vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Health Ministry, was given the name Sputnik V. It is a vector vaccine based on the human adenovirus.

On February 2, 2020, The Lancet, a world-acclaimed medical journal, published the results of the third phase of Sputnik V clinical tests. The vaccine has proved to be among the world’s safest and most efficient ones with its efficacy estimated at 91.6% (91.8% among volunteers older than 60). Ninety-eight percent of volunteers developed antibodies to the coronavirus. All developed cell-mediated immunity.

The vaccine has been registered in many world nations.