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Sputnik vaccine may never be approved in EU: Italy PM

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A medical worker holds a box with a vial of Russia’s Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine against the coronavirus disease at a vaccination point at the GUM department store in Moscow on January 18, 2021, as Russia launched mass coronavirus vaccinations. Russians willing to be vaccinated can choose between two vaccines, Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona, TASS news agency reports. Alexander NEMENOV / AFP

Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine may never be approved by the European Union, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Friday, as he also cast doubts on China’s Sinovac jab.

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“Sputnik… has not yet managed to obtain and perhaps will never have the approval of EMA (the European Medicines Agency),” Draghi said in Brussels.

Meanwhile, “the Chinese vaccine, which never applied (for EMA approval) has shown to be inadequate, look at the experience in Chile,” he added.

Chile has relied heavily on the Chinese Sinovac jab for its immunisation campaign, and is now considering adding a third dose to boost protection against new variants.

In his comments, Draghi said there was a need for a “strengthening and maybe also a reform of EMA” to avoid a repeat of recent “considerable confusion” on vaccines.

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He referred to a “certain discrepancy of pronouncements” over the safety of Covid-19 vaccines between EMA and national medicine bodies.

Draghi was speaking at the end of a two-day European Union summit, in which he said leaders had a general discussion on the state of play of coronavirus.

“The pandemic is not over, we are not yet out of it,” the Italian leader said, pointing to the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant in Britain.

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