Brussels: With the Netherlands becoming the latest EU member to ban AstraZeneca vaccine over blood clot concerns, Europe is gravitating towards Russia’s jab Sputnik.
Production agreements have been already signed with Italy, Spain, France and Germany. The factories will supply Sputnik V vaccines to Europe once approval is granted by the European Medicines Agency. The development came even as the World Health Organization and AstraZeneca insisted the Oxford vaccine is safe.
Europe is witnessing a Covid resurgence: Italy went into lockdown on Monday, Paris is facing tighter measures as cases overwhelm hospitals, and German ICU doctors warn that an 'immediate' return to lockdown is necessary.
Covid cases are also rising sharply in countries such as Sweden, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and non-EU member Serbia as experts warn that a third wave has begun.
Europe is presiding over one of the world's slowest vaccine roll-outs having given first jabs to just eight per cent of its population, while the UK has given first jabs to at least 35 per cent. The shambolic roll-out has left the continent vulnerable to a third wave of Covid infections which are already beginning, with multiple countries forced to tighten lockdowns once again, reports Daily Mail.