ZAGREB, 1 February (Hina) – Croatia will get the Russian COVID-19 vaccine if it asks for it, Russian Ambassador Andrey Nesterenko said in an interview with the Monday issue of the Večernji List daily.
EU countries, including Croatia, have been having difficulty obtaining pre-ordered vaccines and Russia is willing to provide 100 million doses in the second quarter, as confirmed to the daily by Ambassador Nesterenko.
Even though Croatia has still not officially asked Russia for the vaccine, Nesterenko says that the head of a research group at Zagreb’s Ruđer Bošković Institute, Dragomira Meichen, is Croatia’s representative on the international scientific council for the Sputnik V vaccine and that the platform for consultations with Croatian experts already exists.
Sputnik V has a number of advantages that greatly simplify the delivery of the vaccine worldwide – it is stored at temperatures ranging from 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, which makes it possible to keep it in an ordinary refrigerator, and the price per dose is less than US$ 10, which makes the vaccine affordable for many countries, the diplomat said.
The ambassador also said that the Russian vaccine could play an important role in the fight against the pandemic and be used in UN missions.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has therefore expressed hope that the World Health Organisation would approve the vaccine as soon as possible, the diplomat said.
He noted that Russia had so far received orders for the purchase of 1.2 billion doses of the vaccine from more than 50 countries.
Nesterenko added that the vaccine was being actively used in Russia, with vaccination conducted not only in hospitals but also in shopping malls and other venues. He added that a centre for the vaccination of foreign nationals had been opened in Moscow and that some of the foreign ambassadors serving in Russia had been vaccinated with Sputnik V.