Germany has asked the European Commission to purchase doses of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for the EU, Politico Europe reported Wednesday.
The Commission plans to determine which countries are interested in purchasing the Russian shot as EU countries remain divided on the issue, an unnamed German official told Politico Europe.
Requests from at least four EU countries are needed to start talks on advance purchase agreements, Politico Europe reported.
Sputnik V is currently undergoing rolling review with the European Medicines Agency (EMA), with its timeline for approval still unclear.
A delegation from the EU’s medicines regulator will travel to Russia to inspect its vaccine manufacturing sites, EMA chief Emer Cooke announced earlier this week.
The unnamed German official told Politico Europe that the bloc’s procurement process could start ahead of Sputnik V’s authorization.
Faced with rising cases and deaths, EU members such as Hungary and Slovakia have bypassed the EMA to purchase Sputnik V for their own populations. Other EU countries have been more skeptical of the vaccine, questioning its swift rollout and accusing Russia of using it as a propaganda tool.
Last week, the EU official in charge of its vaccination rollout Thierry Breton said that Europe has “absolutely no need of Sputnik V” as the bloc has already approved four other vaccines.
The comment, which came as the bloc works to reboot its lagging vaccination efforts, sparked outcry from Moscow, which accused Europe of politicizing a global health crisis.