With a vaccination campaign in the EU that is still lacking behind and with serious issues involving Astra-Zeneca and J&J vaccines the need of other sources of supply is evident. Other EU countries took a more pragmatic approach starting using the Russian vaccine Sputnik V and the Chinese vaccines. Hungary was the first country using the Russian antidote while Austria, Germany and Czech Republic are trying to secure the precious doses that are going to be used after the EMA green light. Looking also at east, Hungary has granted China’s CanSino vaccine emergency use authorization, making it the second China-developed Covid-19 vaccine approved in the European country; Budapest started also to offer the Sinopharm vaccine on February 24.Polish President Andrzej Duda spoke with his Chinese counterpart about a supply of Chinese jabs to speed up the vaccination campaign.
In this challenging situation also other UE countries are trying to be more pragmatic in terms of vaccine supply, in Italy Health Vice Minister Paolo Sileri said in an interview ” About the Sputnik vaccine I can say that it could be very useful after the green light coming from EMA, and also the Chinese Sinovac is welcome. There could be also an emergency procedure by the Italian Drug Agency (AIFA) but in that case we would talk about a small quantity of doses. We should not be satisfied about the doses we have now, if we will be able to speed up with our vaccination campaign the outcome will be great. The first necessary step for every vaccine, and also for Sputnik and Sinovac, is for sure the start of an application procedure to EMA, we need an active action from the producers of the vaccines”.
The Italian official stressed also that “Maybe it would be necessary a stronger EU action in order to get vaccines also from Russia and China”. Another interesting case, which had an impact also in the neighboring Italy, is the Republic of San Marino, his Health Secretary Ciavatta explained to Brussels Diplomatic “We have a population of around 33.000 inhabitants, the vaccination procedure in the Republic of San Marino with the Sputnik vaccine is completed and we received enough jabs also for the second doses. We have activated our cooperation with the Sputnik because of positive articles in the most important international western medical journals, we got then a good confirmation about the efficacy also from the vaccinations we are doing here. About vaccines we had some contacts with China and other countries”.
For Ciavatta San Marino has historically with China, and other world big powers, very good relations as “we are a neutral country, not part of geopolitical games. In case we wouldn’t have develop a quick cooperation for the Russian vaccine, why not to establish a cooperation in order to get the Chinese vaccine then the contacts with China were handled by our Foreign Affairs Secretary (Minister). With China with have an historical collaboration and we are one of the few countries in the world to have a free visa regime for our citizens entering China. From the 60′ there is a very positive cooperation therefore I can image that there could have been a green light to use the Chinese vaccines even thought I don’t know the details of such operation. In terms of other cooperation’s on drugs and vaccines, as we use the international pharmacy I can’t exclude that in other periods we could have imported vaccines also from China. Also talking about health cooperation’s, during the first pandemic wave we received here a supply of themoscans from China” he concluded.