Slovenian chief epidemiologist sceptical about Russian vaccine approval

NEWS 18.02.2021 17:28
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koronavirus, covid-19, testiranje
Source: CESAR MANSO / AFP

Slovenia's chief epidemiologist Bojana Beovic is sceptical about plans for the approval of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine in her country, and on Thursday she explained that the process of giving a green light to the Russian vaccine in Slovenia level might be long and detailed.

Doses of the Russian vaccine against coronavirus are already being administered in Hungary and Serbia, and the Croatian government is considering ordering it, which prompted journalists to ask Beovic whether Slovenia should also order this vaccine.

She said that the Sputnik V vaccine was very effective, however, the problem was that during its development Russia had not included international organisations to participate in any stage of that process.

Approval by the Slovenian regulator would require about 60,000 pages of research documentation examining how the vaccine was developed and produced.

She added that the process in Slovenia to approve medicines does not rely only on “political approval”, thus alluding to the situation in Serbia and Hungary.

Previously Prime Minister Janez Jansa said that Slovenia could procure other vaccines, including the Russian Sputnik V, that have appeared on the global market, but only after they are approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Beovic underscores that the population’s immunity is still not sufficient, meaning that anti-epidemic restrictions are still required.

Ljubljana expects greater quantities of vaccines in April.

British variant identified in Slovenia

To date a total of 190,000 COVID cases have been registered in Slovenia.

An estimated  30% of the Slovenian population is believed to have been infected or exposed to someone who has the virus. Nevertheless, restrictive measures are still required until the situation is brought into control, according to the local authorities

Beovic confirmed that the British variant had been identified in the country but it probably did not account for more than 2% of  those currently infected. There has not been any indication of the Brazilian or South African variant recorded yet.

In the past 24 hours there were 872 new cases of coronavirus registered and 10 deaths. The epidemiological situation is improving as the number stood at 1,386 seven days ago.

There are 619 COVID patients now in hospitals, of whom 117 are in intensive care units.

According to the health ministry’s data, 77,647 people have been vaccinated to date, with 48,592 having received both doses.

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