ROME, February 4. /TASS/. Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza has reported that the country addressed the European Medicines Agency (EMA) asking to accelerate the evaluation of a Russian vaccine, Italy’s ANSA news agency reported on Wednesday.
"We shouldn’t be apprehensive about vaccines from different countries, it is important that they receive the EMA’s approval. We asked the EU to accelerate the scientific evaluation both of the Russian vaccine and vaccines from other countries," he said.
Earlier, leaders of several Italian regions addressed the Health Ministry asking to consider a possibility of purchasing the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against the background of shortages of supplies from companies who had already been contracted to deliver vaccines.
Earlier, The Lancet medical journal published results of Phase Three clinical trials of the Russian vaccine according to which it is one of the safest and the most effective worldwide. The preparation’s efficacy amounts to 91.6%, among inoculated volunteers over 60 - to 91.8%. Antibodies to the coronavirus after vaccination with Sputnik V were detected in 98% of inoculated volunteers.
This evaluation was positively received in Italy. Additionally, representatives of Italian expert community commended the Russian preparation. However, its possible use in Italy requires the approval by the EMA. The Italian regulator can register the vaccine independently and unilaterally only in case of an emergency situation. According to its representatives, this is not the case. At the same time, Italy complains of shortages of ordered doses of vaccines which sets back the planned inoculation schedule.
According to the latest estimates, once deliveries of a vaccine by AstraZeneca, the third one approved in the EU, begin, 14 mln people should be inoculated in Italy by April.