ROME, 18 Feb – RIA Novosti, Sergey Startsev. A consignment of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine destined for the Apennine Republic of San Marino was detained at Italian customs in Milan, the Sanmarine newspaper La Serenissima reported Thursday.
According to the publication, the consignment of the Russian drug for coronavirus infection was blocked by the Italian customs authorities due to the fact that this vaccine has not yet received registration and permission for use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and cannot be imported into the EU.
Buondì ecco la prima pagina di oggi #laserenissima 📣 I VACCINI RUSSI BLOCCATI A MILANO
Published by La Serenissima il giornale dei sammarinesi on Wednesday 17 February 2021
Earlier, RIA Novosti learned from informed sources in San Marino that the authorities of this republic, which is surrounded on all sides by Italian territory, intend to use the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to combat COVID-19. Sources explained that this country cannot count on centralized supplies of vaccines against coronavirus through the European Union, since it is not a member of the EU.
In January, the medical authorities of San Marino and the Italian Ministry of Health reached an agreement that the Italian authorities, within the framework of bilateral cooperation, will supply this republic, whose population is just over 33 thousand citizens, with preparations for vaccination of 25 thousand people. However, until now, these deliveries have not been carried out and the campaign to vaccinate the population against COVID-19 in the republic has not yet begun. In this situation, the San Marino authorities began to study the possibility of using the Sputnik V drug for vaccination and established appropriate contacts, including with the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
On Tuesday, the newspaper La Serenissima announced the possibility of an early delivery of a batch of Russian vaccine to San Marino, calling it “a high diplomacy operation realized thanks to the relations existing between the Republic of San Marino and Russia.”
At the end of January last year, a dedicated health emergency coordination group was established in San Marino to counter the spread of COVID-19. According to her, since the beginning of the epidemic, 3,317 cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded in the republic, almost 3,000 people have recovered, and 72 citizens have become victims.
The scientific journal Lancet previously published the results of the third phase of clinical trials “Sputnik V”, confirming its high efficiency and safety. During phase III clinical trials, Sputnik V demonstrated high rates of efficacy, immunogenicity and safety – the vaccine efficacy was 91.6%. The vaccine provides complete protection against severe cases of the new coronavirus infection. The Sputnik V vaccine has already been approved in more than 20 countries.