EU Vaccine Czar Signals Russia’s Sputnik Shot Isn’t Needed
(Bloomberg) -- Covid-19 vaccine doses “are coming” and the European Union doesn’t need Russia’s Sputnik V shot, according to the EU commissioner in charge of fixing the bloc’s vaccination drive.
Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal markets commissioner, pledged that 100 million doses would be delivered in April and said continental Europe could reach immunity by July 14, which is Bastille Day in France.
Meanwhile, Russians are “struggling to get their hands” on the Sputnik vaccine, Breton said in a French television interview. By contrast, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country might use Sputnik.
”Dear Commissioner Breton, please stop being biased. Europeans want a choice of safe and efficient vaccines, which you so far failed to provide. Sputnik V is already registered in 54 countries,” the Russian vaccine developer reacted in a series of tweets. “His comments pressure Sputnik V not to go through the EMA approval process because @ThierryBreton believes all is great with EU vaccinations and Sputnik V is not needed. Are Europeans happy with Breton’s vaccination approach?”
Most European countries resumed dispensing AstraZeneca Plc shots Friday after a suspension to assess potential side effects, a setback for the EU’s vaccination campaign.
Asked about the EU’s comparatively slow vaccine rollout, Breton insisted that Covid-related death rates were higher in the U.K. and in the U.S., which President Joe Biden said just met a goal of getting 100 million Americans inoculated.
Europe is producing as many as 150 million doses per month, Breton said, adding that he calls AstraZeneca’s CEO daily to check on production. European leaders have blamed the company for delays in the vaccination campaign and for giving the U.K. priority over the EU in deliveries.
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