Sputnik vaccine, another option in Cyprus
A year has passed since that sadly remembered March 9, 2020. That day was confirmed the first Covid-19 cases: a 64-year-old doctor from Nicosia, who had returned from a convention in England; and a 25-year-old man from Limassol, who had returned to our country after passing through Italy.
Since then, 41,822 cases have been confirmed (as of March 20), of which 242 were fatal as of the same date.
It is essential to know that on March 21, the vaccine was administered to 14.78% of the population: the ninth place among the European countries that have vaccinated the most so far. This data was obtained from the Statista page, which can be visited by clicking here (Read article https://www.statista.com/statistics/1196071/covid-19-vaccination-rate-in-europe-by-country/).
In this context, vaccines are essential for countries to return to an "as normal as possible" lifestyle while adjusting to this "new normal".
The Cypriot government is awaiting approval of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). If this approval occurs, it will activate a bilateral agreement that was already approved a couple of weeks ago. This will mean the entry of 50 thousand doses of the Russian vaccine in Cyprus in an initial stage.
This vaccine has already been approved in different countries globally and has been under continuous review by the EU drug agency. So far, no official request for authorization has been submitted. If this happens, it is believed that much more can be requested.
There are preliminary agreements for the Russian vaccine to be produced in Italy, Spain, France, and Germany. Even Hungary has already purchased this vaccine, while the Czech Republic and Slovakia have placed orders. But not everything is so simple in a pandemic. Many international relations specialists suggest that passing the Sputnik V vaccine would be a "great political defeat" for Europe.
The vaccination program in Cyprus has seen a particular boost in recent weeks from Pfizer and AstraZeneca's administration. It should be added that fewer Moderna vaccines have been ordered, while only in April is expected to manage the delivery of Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Right now, one of the concerns is the side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This situation generated confusion among officials and the population.
Last year, the Sputnik vaccine was engulfed in a sea of doubt. Specialists around the world questioned its rapid development. However, due to the shortage of vaccines and after their approval, a renewed interest in the Russian vaccine was born. It should be remembered that skepticism about the effectiveness of Sputnik disappeared after scientists discovered that it is 92 percent effective against Covid-19.
In Cyprus, we were on the way to a partial lifting of the blockade aimed at slowing the virus's spread, but there were last-minute adjustments after the increase in cases. Meanwhile, we will have to wait a little longer before the borders are reopened to tourists, scheduled for the next few weeks.