EU shamed as Italian gets Russian Covid jab after Brussels vaccine delay ‘failure’

Vaccine: Anna Maria Chiuri criticises EU’s ‘huge problem’

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Italian soprano Anna Maria Chiuri has blasted vaccine delays in the European Union after being vaccinated while on tour in Russia. The singer insisted that Europe had a “huge problem” sourcing doses and insisted member states should be looking to import supplies of the Russian Sputnik V. Ms Chiuri’s comments will come as a blow to the European Union coming just days after Putin’s Government accused the EU of “politicising” the fight against COVID.

The Opera singer told the RT television network: “When it comes to Europe it is a huge problem that it is failing to vaccinate all citizens as quickly as possible.

“It hampers their return, however here in Moscow everything is up and running in quite a regular basis.

“Shops, theatres everything is open we musicians feel shocked to have all the theatres as well as other cultural facilities closed and can’t understand why there is this slow down in Europe.

“My Italian friends are very preoccupied, they are afraid that it will complete the post-Covid recovery.”

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Ms Chiuri continued: “I am in favour of sending Sputnik V supplies to Europe and elsewhere if it helps overcome the problem of vaccine shortages and allows everyone to get vaccinated.

It comes after Mrs von der Leyen used a press appearance last week to discredit the Russian state-backed vaccine. 

She said: “I must say we still wonder why Russia is offering theoretically millions and millions of doses while not sufficiently progressing in vaccinating their own people.”

Russia’s EU embassy announced it was “perplexed to hear” Mrs von der Leyen’s criticism of its country’s authorities and scientific community.

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The Croatian government is laying the groundwork to purchase the Russian state-backed Sputnik V jab.

Slovakia is having similar conversations with the firm behind the coronavirus vaccine and Hungary has already taken delivery. 

Zagreb is currently negotiating with Moscow for a supply of at least one million doses of the Sputnik V jab.

Even if the vaccine isn’t approved by EU regulators, the doses would still be shipped.

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Insiders say the plan is to wait until the bloc gives a “thumbs-up” to the Russian jab before rapid rollout.

But it was claimed Croatia’s national medicines agency, HALMED, is exploring ways to roll out the vaccine before it is authorised by the EMA.

The Slovak government will open similar discussions with Moscow today on the purchase and use of the Russian vaccine.

Prime Minister Igor Matovic said: “I don’t see any reason why we cannot use it here.

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