Kolkata, India: Despite Russia’s poor vaccination rates and the mounting death toll in the third wave of the pandemic, the Kremlin said Thursday that it has no imminent plans to allow foreign coronavirus vaccines into the country.
Russia is not currently considering “mutual recognition” of vaccinations with Brussels, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is not recognized by the EU.
On Thursday, health officials reported 791 Covid deaths in the previous 24 hours.
Only 20% of Russians have received at least one vaccine, indicating that the Kremlin is struggling to combat strong anti-vaccine attitudes.
When asked if introducing Western vaccines would encourage hesitant Russians to vaccinate themselves by giving them a choice, Peskov said the country already had enough vaccines produced domestically.
“We have our own four vaccines,” he said. “Isn’t that a choice?”
Last year Russia stunned the world by announcing the registration of the world’s first COVID-19 jabs when the West, including China, were struggling to come up with their vaccines.
Kremlin’s Sputnik announcement was met with surprise although it went to stir controversies across the global medical communities for its ultra-first release and lack of globally recognized clinical compatibilities.
Russia has also filed EpiVacCorona, CoviVac, and Sputnik Light, a single-dose version of Sputnik V, in addition to Sputnik V.
While no such conversations have yet taken place, Peskov expressed hope that Moscow and Brussels will consider vaccine recognition in the future.
The Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, which was initially met with skepticism, has recently won over scientists.
It has been dubbed “the best vaccination in the world” by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russians, on the other hand, are less convinced, with many stating that they would prefer a Western vaccine and 54% stating that they will not get vaccinated.
The European Medicines Agency is conducting a “rolling review” of both the Sputnik V and Sinovac vaccines, which is the first step before obtaining final approval.
Ex-Soviet countries like Belarus and Armenia, allies like Venezuela and Iran, as well as Argentina, Brazil, India, and Pakistan, have all authorized Sputnik V.