PARIS, April 20. /TASS/. Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine could be available on the European Union’s market not earlier than by late 2021 in case it is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said in an interview with the French daily Le Figaro.
"I don’t think that by the end of 2021 the required volume of Sputnik V’s doses will be available in Europe," Breton said. Meanwhile, he noted that "like in case with any vaccine, the first step is the approval by the European agency, which is an independent organization." The EU regulator "should study the Russian dossier in the coming weeks," he noted.
According to the commissioner, the Russian dossier "still lacks data and therefore the assessment process could take longer." "After this it is necessary to find some production capacities," Breton said. "Russia is looking for industrial partners in Europe but now they are used for producing the already approved vaccines."
By mid-July, Europe plans to vaccinate some 70% of adult population, Breton stated. "As for vaccination, we would like to give priority to the Europeans, at the same time fulfilling our solidarity mission by supplying vaccines to the rest of the world," he noted.
At the moment, the EU’s vaccination portfolio includes four vaccines - Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, the use of which was restricted by some EU states over dangerous side effects, as well as Johnson & Johnson, which froze supplies to the EU on April 13 over suspected side effects.
Russia’s Sputnik V is currently undergoing certification with the EMA. However, the agency is carrying out a standard procedure of allowing its use, unlike Western companies, with which the European Commission signed contracts in 2020 on preordering vaccines. Their products were certified by the EMA in a fast-tracked procedure.