Sputnik V tested on animals in eastern Slovakia

The EMA does not recommend using the vaccine without registration, PM Matovič says they better work 24/7.

Veterinarian Miroslav Ryzner stands next to guinea pigs, which can be later used in vaccine trials, in a laboratory in Šarišské Michaľany, Prešov Region, on March 10, 2021.Veterinarian Miroslav Ryzner stands next to guinea pigs, which can be later used in vaccine trials, in a laboratory in Šarišské Michaľany, Prešov Region, on March 10, 2021. (Source: TASR)

While Slovak experts on pharmaceuticals test the Russian vaccine on animals before they approve it for use on people in Slovakia, the Slovak prime minister is calling on the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to work faster.

In reaction to EMA management board chair Christa Wirthumer-Hoche advising against the use of unauthorised vaccines in EU member states, PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) suggested lives are at stake and the medicines agency better work 24/7.

The purchase of Sputnik V has provoked controversy in Slovakia and the coalition partners of Matovič and his OĽaNO party said it was the last straw that triggered a yet-to-be-resolved coalition crisis. The EMA meanwhile started a rolling review of the Russian vaccine, the first step in the authorisation process. A latest poll shows Sputnik V is one of the most trusted known Covid vaccines among the population of Slovakia.

Mice and guinea pigs receive vaccine first

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