Status: 03/27/2021 9:40 a.m.
The heads of government from Bavaria and Thuringia are calling for a possible order for the Russian vaccine Sputnik V to be prepared. He found reservations and “West German ideological sensitivities” silly, said Ramelow.
There are calls from the countries to also rely on the Russian vaccine Sputnik V in the fight against the corona pandemic. A decision about the approval of Sputnik V must be “made as soon as possible,” said Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder in an interview with the “Passauer Neue Presse” and the “Donaukurier”. “And we should have learned from the bad experiences with the first order,” said the CSU politician.
“Therefore, this time the EU should quickly conclude all the necessary contracts to get as much vaccine as possible.” The corona pandemic will ultimately only be defeated by vaccination, said Söder.
Ramelow: “ideological sensitivities”
Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) complained in an interview with “Welt” about the reservations in West Germany against the Russian corona vaccine. “I am not fighting for Sputnik V just because he comes from Russia, but I am of the opinion that we should all buy vaccines that we can buy,” said Ramelow. “It has nothing to do with party politics or an alleged proximity to Moscow.” He registered “West German ideological sensitivities on this question, which I find silly”. Like all other vaccines, Sputnik V must also be tested, said Ramelow.
“But the framework agreement could have been concluded long ago. That should now happen soon.” Chancellor Angela Merkel assured him that talks on this had started. According to Ramelow, Sputnik V could be tested and produced by the Russian company R-Pharm in Illertissen near Augsburg in Bavaria.
So far four EU-wide approvals
Söder met with criticism that the EU countries could not bring themselves to an export stop for corona vaccines produced in Europe at their summit. “Unfortunately, the EU is sending the wrong signal,” said the Bavarian head of government to the “Passauer Neue Presse” and the “Donaukurier”. It is “difficult to convey to people that we in Europe have real problems with vaccination progress, but that we are the most export-oriented vaccines worldwide”. As a result, there was a lack of “urgently needed capacities for their own continent,” said Söder.
Export controls are only a first step. From his point of view, it would be “more honest and better” to impose an export ban now, according to Söder. So far, the corona vaccines from BioNTech / Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson have received EU-wide approval. For Sputnik V, the EU medicines authority EMA has started a so-called rolling procedure for approval.
Spahn for the acquisition of Sputnik V
After France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian accused Russia of misusing Sputnik V as a “means of propaganda”, the German government again signaled its willingness in principle to use the Russian vaccine once it has been approved by the EMA.
Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn spoke out last week in favor of reaching agreements quickly to purchase the Russian corona vaccine. He could “imagine that we conclude contracts quickly,” said Spahn. His ministry is “in close contact” with the Russian authorities, including a pre-contractual declaration of intent.
National solo effort possible
If necessary, Spahn did not want to rule out going it alone nationally. With the possible acquisition of Sputnik V, Germany does not necessarily want to wait for a decision at EU level. “I am actually very much in favor of the fact that if the European Union does nothing, we do it nationally,” he said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel made a similar statement and spoke out in favor of the use of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V if it was approved for Germany. If the EU does not place any orders – for which there are no indications – Germany will do this on its own, said Merkel.