RIGA - Minister of Defense Artis Pabriks (For Development) would "generally not oppose" the ordering and use of the Russian vaccine against Covid-19 Sputnik V in Latvia, if it is registered by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and if there is still a need for additional vaccine doses in Latvia.
The Minister told LETA that Latvia should not discriminate against the purchase of any goods necessary to combat the pandemic by country of origin.
"If EZA registers the Russian vaccine and we need additional doses, then we can decide on it within the government. As with any vaccine from other manufacturers," Pabriks added.
The Minister reminded of the statement made by Minister of Health Daniels Pavluts, that Latvia has currently ordered vaccines from seven manufacturers and, at around the middle of this year, the amount of vaccines expected to be available to Latvia will be quite substantial.
Asked by LETA about geopolitical risks, the Minister replied that last year Latvia purchased face masks from China at the beginning of the pandemic, so now it would be a question why Latvia could not buy a Russian vaccine.
"But there is a question about the registration, quality and necessity of the product. I will be one of those politicians who will look at the fact and for goods to be purchased from Latvian producers first. If local producers do not produce such a product, then we see if alternatives are available through our closest allies. I would not object to purchases if all standards, criteria are met and there is a necessity for this vaccine," Pabriks emphasized.
As reported, Ii the European Medicines Agency recommends approval of Russia's Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V, Latvia will definitely consider purchasing the Russian vaccine, said Health Minister Daniels Pavluts (For Development/For).
The Health Ministry has discussed the possibility and agreed that Latvia's vaccine portfolio would only include vaccines that the EMA has recommended for approval, as the minister's advisor Lasma Bindere told LETA.
"We will use each safe and scientifically-proven opportunity to protect people's health and lives," said Pavluts.
In addition, the availability of the vaccines will also be an important factor, said Pavluts. So far Latvia has ordered vaccines from seven manufacturers, and the range of vaccines available to Latvia will be very wide from mid-2021, he said.