After discussion with Czech Prime Mnister Andrej Babiš, President Miloš Zeman sent a letter to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, asking for a delivery of Russia’s Sputnik COVID-19 vaccine. Putin then allegedly promised to comply with the request.
“If I am correctly informed, this request will be met, but of course, we will need certification,” said Zeman, adding that if he were to decide, the State Institute for Drug Control (SÚKL) certification would suffice.
Currently, neither SÚKL nor the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have yet approved the Sputnik vaccine.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the highest constitutional officials, including Zeman, agreed in a joint statement that the COVID-19 vaccines used in the Czech Republic need to go through the European Commission approval process. Czechia is currently vaccinating with Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines, but it does not have enough doses to vaccinate all those interested.
Last week, Zeman spoke in favor of the so-called Hungarian path, referring to Hungary purchasing the Sputnik vaccine, even without the approval of the European authorities.
Title image: Elderly men receive Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a sports hall in Ricany, Czech Republic, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. With new infections soaring due to a highly contagious coronavirus variant and hospitals filling up, one of the hardest-hit countries in the European Union is facing an inevitable tighter lockdown. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)