Renaud Muselier, the head of Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region in southeastern France, said on Tuesday that he had secured half a million shots of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, pending approval at the European level
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 14th April, 2021) Renaud Muselier, the head of Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region in southeastern France, said on Tuesday that he had secured half a million shots of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, pending approval at the European level.
Muselier explained the move as a means of making up for shortages of other vaccines in the country the result of cuts in deliveries by manufacturers of vaccines which have been approved for use in France, namely, those from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.
"I saw Ambassador of Russia [to France Aleksey Meshkov] and [the head of] German land of Bavaria [Markus Soder] which is the most powerful in Germany, and I made a pre-order of 500,000 doses for the Sputnik V while pending authorizations from European health authorities," Muselier said on the French RTL broadcaster, adding that he made the order "at his level," just as Germany's Bavaria did.
Notably, last week Bavaria placed a preliminary order in cooperation with the Russian Direct Investment Fund of potential Sputnik V deliveries to the region once it is authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The anticipated first batch of the Russian vaccine to the region contains 2.5 million doses.
In the meantime, the EMA has been evaluating Sputnik V since March 4. However, several EU countries, including Slovakia and Hungary, have already approved its use without waiting for EMA authorization. Overall, the Russian vaccine has been approved in 60 countries worldwide.
France's nationwide immunization campaign began in late December 2020. To date, 11,340,564 million people have received the first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, and about 3,977,406 million citizens have received two.