VIENNA, April 9. /TASS/. Austria hopes for the soonest certification of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine by the European Medicines Agency but can register it independently and is currently looking at ways how to do that, a source in the Austrian government told TASS on Friday.
"We are close to a contract with Russia (for supplies of the Russian vaccine)," he said, adding that Austria should either wait for the EMA certification of the Russian vaccine or register it independently via its national regulator.
"To obtain the EMA’s registration is the best option, i.e. to wait until the EMA studies the vaccine. However, we are currently looking at ways for national registration," the source said. Austrian medical experts are working on that matter, the source noted.
According to the source, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is convinced that "Austria needs the Russian vaccine." "Austria wants to have this vaccine," he stressed.
Kurz said after a working meeting with Russian Ambassador to Austria Dmitry Lyubinsky on March 31, Moscow and Vienna were at a final stage before a deal for the Sputnik V purchases. He said he was convinced the use of the Russian vaccine would help accelerate the process of vaccination in Austria. He noted that national registration of the vaccine depended on how long it would take the EMA to certify it.
Austria’s Federal Chancellery said in late March that Vienna was in talks with Moscow on possible purchase of one million Sputnik V doses to vaccinate 500,000 people. The vaccine can be supplied in three takes - in April, May, and June 2021. The sides have already signed a non-disclosure agreement during the exchange of confidential documents.
The European Medicines Agency said on March 4 it had begun the Sputnik V evaluation procedures to look at its compliance with the EU efficacy, safety and quality standards. The Agency anticipates that the registration of the Russian vaccine could be over by late May.