PRAGUE, February 22. /TASS/. The Russian coronavirus vaccine should be purchased as soon as possible, Prime Minister of Slovakia Igor Matovic wrote in Facebook.
The government of Slovakia did not make the decision to purchase the Sputnik V on Thursday. Ministers from the Za L’udi (For the People) party insisted on prior registration of the Russian pharmaceutical in the European Union.
"The person that wants we wait with [making] the agreement [on the Russian vaccine supply] until its registration by the European Medicines Agency until the time when all its volumes will be sold out by the producer, simply does not want the Sputnik V to be in Slovakia but desires that we continue relying on supplies of vaccines ordered by the European Union, accompanied with long delays. He wants us to suffer from the lockdown and unexpected deaths," Matovic wrote.
The Healthcare Ministry of Slovakia can authorize use of the Sputnik V, the Prime Minister noted. The Healthcare Ministry "issues thousands of permits" to use non-registered drugs within a year. "Nobody has casted a doubt on such practice [the need to use in urgent cases] until now. Why obstacles with the Russian vaccine surfaced at present?" he added.
Matovic said on Friday he reached an agreement with the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov and head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev on the supply of a batch of the Sputnik V vaccine to Slovakia by June end.