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Updated March 23rd, 2021 at 10:01 IST

France: National Rally party's leader Marine Le Pen asks govt to consider using Sputnik V

France’s right-wing National Rally party, Marine Le Pen on March 22 said that France should use vaccines against coronavirus which is unauthorized by the EU

Akanksha Arora
France
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The leader of France’s right-wing National Rally party, Marine Le Pen on Monday, March 22 said that France should use the vaccines against coronavirus which are unauthorized by the European Union, including Russia's Sputnik V without a consent from the European Medicines Agency (EMA). As of now, the European bloc has approved only three vaccines for mass use. They include the one manufactured by AstraZeneca/Oxford, Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech. 

"I am amazed to see that the French government is waiting for the permission of the European Union to order the Russian Sputnik vaccine or the Chinese vaccine. In my opinion, if the way out of the crisis is vaccination, then it must be urgently accelerated. And to do this, we need to expand access to vaccines”, said Le Pen during a press conference. 

As of now, only Slovakia and Hungary are the two European nations to be using the Russian vaccine. Le Pen highlighted that keeping in mind the supply cuts of the vaccines which have been authorized by the bloc, theFrench authorities should follow the example of European nations like Slovakia and Hungary, which "have freely certified vaccines" without pending approval of the EMA. The Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine is based on a modified version of adenovirus, a common cold virus.  The vector stripped of its disease-causing genes and modified to carry genetic instructions for making the coronavirus spike protein. This prompts the cells to cause an immune response which eventually protects against the SARS-CoV-2.

Another controversy 

In another significant development, top European Union official, Thierry Breton triggered another vaccine controversy after he blatantly said that the bloc does not need Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. European Commissioner for Internal Market, speaking to TF1, reckoned that the EU was capable of achieving total immunity on the continent just by using European produce jabs. His remarks, however, drew backlash from Sputnik V which accused the bloc of ‘bias’. 

Breton also reiterated a previous comment that the EU would help Russia with the production of the vaccine if needed but priority should be given to the Europeans. The bloc has been widely criticised for its slow rollout of vaccine shots, especially as compared to its former member-the UK. According to official data, 10.4 per cent of the bloc’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine while 4.5 per cent has been completely inoculated against COVID-19.

(Image Credits: AP)

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Published March 23rd, 2021 at 10:01 IST

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