Czech President Asks Putin For Sputnik V Vaccine - Reports

PRAGUE (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 28th February, 2021) Czech President Milos Zeman has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for supplies of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, CNN Prima reports.

"If I am correctly informed, my request will be satisfied," Zeman told CNN Prima in an interview to be released on Sunday, saying he had sent a letter to Putin with a request for Sputnik V deliveries.

The Czech president said certification from the country's State Institute for Drug Control (SUKL) would be enough to get the vaccine out and that authorization by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) was not necessarily needed.

On Tuesday, high-ranking officials from the Czech Republic spoke in favor of using only those coronavirus vaccines that are approved by the EMA. Meanwhile Zeman had said that he was not against following Hungary's lead to acquire Russia's Sputnik V without waiting for the EU regulator to approve it.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the sharp slowdown in shipments of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to the country, which hinders the nation's immunization of priority groups, like frontline medical staff and people aged over 80.

The Czech Republic launched its mass vaccination campaign in December. The country has seen increasing infection rates in the past weeks, with the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases having surpassed 143,300.The Czech Republic's COVID-19 death toll stands at over 20,100. More than 7,200 people remain hospitalized.