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Hungarian lab confirms reliability of Sputnik V jab delivered to Slovakia

A specialized laboratory in Hungary has confirmed the reliability of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, after its first batch arrived in Slovakia on March 1, the TA3 TV channel reported on Friday citing Slovak Health Minister Vladimir Lengvarsky.

"The results of the research on the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus jab conducted in Hungary [at Slovakia's request] are all right," the minister stated.

Lengvarsky noted that his ministry had received official information about the successful completion of the Sputnik V research from the Hungarian Health Ministry. Consultations with experts and the Russian side will be held in order to determine Slovakia's further steps with regard to the Russian vaccine stored in its warehouses, the minister added.

Marek Krajci, one of those who initiated the purchase of the Russian jab not registered in the EU, who had to step down as Slovakia's Health Minister in March over the government crisis sparked by the acquisition of Sputnik V, said on Thursday that the Central European country was not obliged to purchase all the vaccine volume envisaged by the contract. "Slovakia must not buy out [the contractual volume] of the Sputnik V vaccine," he said. "I insisted that the contract [with Russia] include a clause stating that, if the Russian side does not supply us with at least 50% of the promised amount of vaccines within a month, Slovakia can unilaterally withdraw from the agreement. This can be done now. We can sell the vaccine doses received [by Slovakia] to a third party [under the agreement]."

On April 30, Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger said that the contract for the purchase of Sputnik V made public with Russia's consent was advantageous for the republic, and many Slovak citizens would like to be inoculated with a Russian vaccine.

Moscow reminded Slovakia that head of the Hungarian Prime Minister's Office Gergely Gulyas announced the study of the effectiveness of various vaccines used in Hungary, acknowledging Sputnik V as the best one. In addition, the developers of the jab compared the situation in Slovakia with the one in Brazil where the United States has openly opposed the Russian vaccine's promotion. The US Department of Health and Human Services admitted in its 2020 report that Washington was trying to persuade the Brazilian authorities to reject the Russian vaccine.

[Source: Tass, Prague, 07May21]

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