Questionable vaccine composition has been reported in Slovakia on Sputnik V vaccine. National drug regulator said it was unable to determine the safety of a batch of Russian Sputnik V serum against Covid-19 , delivered to Bratislava in March.
An EU country of 5.4 million people, Slovakia is battling one of the highest Covid-19 death rates in the world. Former Prime Minister Igor Matovic was forced to resign last week amid scandal over his hasty purchase of two million doses of Sputnik V, which has yet to receive the green light from the European Agency drugs (EMA).
Not the same vaccine
“Batches of the vaccine (Sputnik V) used in preclinical tests and clinical studies published in the journal Lancet do not have the same characteristics and properties as those imported into Slovakia ”, indicated the National Institute for the Control of Medicines (SUKL), in its press release sent to AFP. “Only its name attaches it to the Sputnik V vaccines used in around 40 countries around the world,” according to SUKL.
“Based on laboratory tests alone, it is not possible to conclude on its efficacy and safety in humans” from the batch sent to Slovakia, the Institute said, adding that the vaccine manufacturer did not had not responded to the repeated request to provide data on the composition of the first 200,000 doses imported. In February, Lancet had indicated that the Sputnik V vaccine was 91.6% effective, raising doubts about its reliability. The vaccine is used in particular in Russia and Hungary.
Igor Matovic, who remained in government as deputy prime minister, traveled to Moscow on Thursday for talks on the vaccine. “My negotiations will of course focus on the vaccine because systematic efforts are still being made to prevent the use of Sputnik V in Slovakia,” he wrote on Facebook. Sputnik V sowed division between the former Eastern Bloc countries once dependent on Moscow, some of them seeing it as a godsend, others as a propaganda tool from the Kremlin.