Official permission given for use of Sputnik V might be unlawful

The Health Ministry refuses to publish the agreements made on purchasing the vaccine.

The first batch of Sputnik V vaccines arrived in Slovakia on March 1.The first batch of Sputnik V vaccines arrived in Slovakia on March 1. (Source: TASR)

The official permission given for the use of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V raises several questions and might even be unlawful, according to the Let’s Stop Corruption Foundation, a non-governmental organisation.

One of the questions is whether an entitled subject asked for approval to use the unlicensed medicine.

“The request was probably submitted by professor [Ivan] Schréter of the Košice University Hospital,” said Peter Kováč of Let’s Stop Corruption Foundation, as quoted by the SITA newswire. As he explained he is officially an employee of a medical facility, and his ability to act in the name of the hospital is questionable.

Related articleMinister Krajčí approved use of Russian vaccine Read more 

Another problem is that the permission given does not state based on which paragraph of a respective law on medicaments and medical aids the subject can ask for the exception to use the vaccine. As a result, some law experts consider the permission unlawful, Kováč added.

He also questioned whether the health minister was actually entitled to issue the exception and pointed to several missing facts, like the comparison with the registered medicaments and the explanation of why they cannot use the available registered medications.

No access to agreements

Meanwhile, ethics watchdog Transparency International Slovakia (TIS) said that the Health Ministry has refused to publish the agreements on the purchase of the Sputnik V vaccine, claiming that they are in “a confidential mode”.

Related articleRussian and European media report on Slovakia's purchase of Sputnik V Read more 

Such an answer does not comply with the Slovak legislation, though, as it requires the publishing of the agreements signed by the state, TIS pointed out.

As it explained, making the agreements confidential would mean that the public would not be able to check the purchasing price, the dates of supplies, the sanctions for lacking supplies and the responsibility for potential side effects, as reported by SITA.

TIS is ready to challenge the ministry’s decision and even turn to the courts, SITA reported.

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