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Czech Republic circumvents EU – buys vaccine from Russia

The Czech Republic will now be the next EU country, after Hungary, to circumvent the Union's bureaucracy. The Czech Republic, which is struggling with widespread contagion, is tired of the EU's slow handling of the vaccination process and has therefore chosen to sign an agreement with Russia on deliveries of the Russian Sputnik vaccine.

Published: March 4, 2021, 9:08 am

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    Prague

    “After consulting the Prime Minister, I have sent a letter to Vladimir Putin asking him for supplies of the Sputnik vaccine,” Czech President Miloz Zeman told TV Prima on Sunday.

    According to Zeman, the Russians have announced that the vaccine deliveries will arrive within a few days.

    Zeman alsom plans to buy the Sinopharm vaccine from China because “vaccines have no ideology”.

    Neither Sputnik nor Sinopharm has been approved by the EU’s own pharmaceutical authority EMA. However, both vaccines are already being used in large quantities in Hungary and Serbia, The Moscow Times reported.

    Czech Prime Minister Andrei Babis recently visited the two countries to learn more about the progress of their vaccination campaigns. He marvelled at those who condemned these vaccines and predicted that several EU countries would soon want to buy them bilaterally in the same way as Hungary and the Czech Republic have now done.

    “All we need is a stamp from the Czech Medicines Agency. Some 65 countries in the world want the Russian vaccine, including six EU countries, so why say ‘My God, it’s so awful’? Believe me when I say that several EU countries will ask for the Sputnik vaccine within a few months.”

    Both President Zeman and Prime Minister Babis have previously taken both doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

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