Campania region of Italy signs agreement to buy Russian vaccine Sputnik V



ROME (Reuters) – The southern Italian region of Campania has signed an agreement to purchase Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, the regional governor said on Friday, adding that the agreement would become effective once use of the vaccine in Europe will be allowed.

FILE PHOTO: The vial labeled “Sputnik V Coronavirus Disease Vaccine (COVID-19)” placed over the displayed Sputnik V logo is seen in this photo taken March 24, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo

“We signed the contract after weeks of negotiations … pending approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Italian regulator (AIFA),” said Vincenzo De Luca.

Campania, which includes Naples, is one of the most populous regions in Italy, with some 5.8 million inhabitants. It is one of the worst affected areas since the pandemic took hold in February last year, with more than 320,000 confirmed cases.

“Once we have vaccinated our citizens, we will offer the vaccines that we do not need to the rest of Italy,” added De Luca.

Earlier in March, the EMA launched an ongoing review of Sputnik V, which was approved in Russia in August 2020 without waiting for full clinical trial results.

The EMA has so far authorized four vaccines in the EU, where delays in supplying producers have hampered vaccination campaigns in several of the 27 member states.

“If all goes well, Sputnik will not be available until the second half of the year,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Friday.

“I would be careful signing these contracts,” he added, asked about the agreement with Campania.

Italy has recorded more than 106,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the health emergency, the second highest death toll in Europe after Britain.

(GRAPHIC – COVID-19 vaccination monitoring: here)

Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Bill Berkrot


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