PRAGUE, July 4. /TASS/. Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine has become a target of "heinous propaganda" in Slovakia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Igor Matovic said on Sunday.
"Heinous propaganda against Sputnik V was the reason why less people than wanted [before the launch of the propaganda campaign against the vaccine] have finally got inoculated with it," he said in an interview with the TA-3 television channel. "It is sad that fools have managed to scare off hundreds of thousands of people who wanted to get inoculated with this vaccine and rejected others."
In any case, the purchase of Sputnik V made sense. "It was worthwhile, indeed," he stressed.
Russia’s Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on July 3 that the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine had come under pressure from the international pharmaceutical lobby.
Slovakian Health Ministry’s spokesperson, Zuzana Eliasova, said on June 2 that Russia had bought back unused doses of its Sputnik V vaccine, i.e. 160,000 out of the 200,000 doses that had been delivered to that country.
"in Slovakia, Sputnik V became a target of fierce disinformation campaign stemming from the domestic political struggle and pressure from the international pharmaceutical lobby," a RDIF spokesman told TASS.
According to the spokesman, misinformation and false allegations have serious influence on mass vaccination campaigns in different countries. "A vivid example of that is the difference between Sputnik V’s success in Hungary, where the Russian vaccine was recognized as the safest and most efficient among other vaccines used in that country, and the course of Sputnik V use in Slovakia," the spokesman noted, adding that some one million people had been vaccinated with Sputnik V in Hungary and the demand for this vaccine exceeded actual supplies.
Even after receiving permits for use from the Slovakian authorities, Sputnik V continued to face antagonism. Thus, only eight out of 156 vaccination centers in Slovakia could offer this vaccine.
The use of Sputnik V began only on June 7. Registration of those willing to get inoculated stopped on June 30. More than 15,000 Slovakian residents, including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Igor Matovic, applied for vaccination with Sputnik V.
The purchase of the Russia vaccine, which has not yet been registered in the European Union, triggered a government crisis in Slovakia. Matovic had to resign as Prime Minister to take the office of deputy prime minister and minister of finance.