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Iran Press TV

Russian coronavirus vaccine 'good news for mankind,' EU's Borrell says

Iran Press TV

Friday, 05 February 2021 2:30 PM

Josep Borrell, the foreign policy chief of the European Union, says the success of Russia's Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine is "good news for the whole of mankind."

The Spanish politician, who is in Moscow on a first visit of a senior EU ambassador to Russia since 2017, was speaking to reporters after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday.

"It's good news for the whole of mankind because it means we will have more tools to fight the pandemic."

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), he was hopeful, would certify the jab in the 27-member union.

In the meantime, Russia's foreign minister said there had been a deal with the United States to "see if there is room for acting together" on vaccines.

Several European countries, Lavrov stated, are already "interested in producing the vaccine on their territory."

Despite concern over the fast-track procedure of Russia's domestically-produced Sputnik-V, the vaccine was approved for use in August 2020 ahead of large-scale clinical trials.

The developers believe the vaccine has proven efficient in curing the potentially fatal respiratory disease in "91.6 percent" of the cases.

Russia started inoculating its citizens in December.

The medical journal Lancet has published an article on the results of the vaccine's third-phase trials with data from more than 20,000 volunteers. Lancet proves the safety and efficacy of Sputnik-V.

The effectiveness of the vaccine ranks as high as those produced by American pharmaceutical giants Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna or AstraZeneca, a similar British company.

Sputnik-V has been approved in more than 15 countries, including several ex-Soviet states, Argentina, Iran and Pakistan.

In a televised interview on Thursday, Head of Iran's Food and Drug Administration Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz said the country has purchased two million doses of Sputnik-V, whose first shipment arrived in Iran on the same day.

The arrival of Sputnik-V, he said, showed the beginning of the implementation of a deal between Tehran and Moscow on the purchase of the vaccine. The next shipments will be delivered to Iran "very soon," he added.

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