By: V4 Agency
Austria is inclined to authorise the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine at a national level if the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) approval process is delayed, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Wednesday.
Apparently, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has had enough of the European Union’s inertia in terms of vaccine procurements, so he has decided to take matters into his own hand.
Earlier, Mr Kurz said Austria was planning to buy Russian Sputnik V jabs. He tweeted last week that, following a discussion with Russian Ambassador Dmitry Lyubisky, an order could be placed for the jabs within a week.
Austria would order a total of 1 million vaccines until June, with the first 300 thousand doses expected to arrive as early as April.
Mr Kurz stated on Wednesday that as EMA’s procedures are rather time-consuming, Europe is lagging behind the UK and the US in terms of mass vaccination. He noted that the vaccines can also be authorised at national level.
“Of course, this is also possible at national level if the authorisation takes too long at the European level. There are countries in Europe that use more vaccines, such as Hungary or Serbia, which also use Sputnik V. It’s a big advantage for these countries, because they can vaccinate their populations faster, saving lives and jobs,” Mr Kurz said.
He reiterated his earlier statement that he strongly supports the purchase of the Russian jab and hopes that Austria will be able to strike a deal.
“This would help us immensely, because it would accelerate the vaccination process significantly. I say we do this. We are now coordinating this with the federal government,” he added.