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Croatia in talks with Russia over Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine

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Budapest is negotiating with Moscow the possibility of buying the Russian-made Coronavirus vaccine, namely Sputnik V, Reuters reported on Wednesday.  

“Each government must take care about the health of its citizens. It is not illegitimate to seek solutions also outside the European Union, especially if there is a delay in deliveries within the EU framework,” said Vili Beros, the country’s Health Minister, during an interview with a state radio. 

“We are thinking about securing that vaccine earlier for us. Now it is up to (our) experts to acquire information on the efficiency and safety of the vaccine and on necessary regulatory requirements,” Beros said, adding he had discussed the acquisition of Sputnik V vaccine with the Russian ambassador. 

Local media also reported that the Russian-made jab could arrive to Croatia within two to three weeks, provided that the two countries reach such an agreement. 

Reacting to the announcement, the Commission’s chief Ursula von der Leyen once again warned against the acquisition of vaccines that are not included in the EU’s portfolio. Europe’s medicines watchdog has so far approved only the jabs developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca/Oxford University, while it is currently considering the Coronavirus vaccine by Johnson & Johnson. 

Von der Leyen also asked Moscow to explain why it was offering to sell millions of its jabs abroad “while not sufficiently progressing in vaccinating its own people.” 

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