Europe Shuns Russian Covid-19 Vaccines as Ukraine War Continues

In the last two years, Russian Covid-19 vaccine makers had a tough time penetrating the European market with their flagship vaccine, Sputnik V. This year, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has likely dashed Sputnik V’s chances of reaching Europe anytime soon.

Just months after the Covid-19 pandemic began, Russia was the first country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine in late 2020: Sputnik V. The vaccine — made using adenoviral vectors like AstraZeneca’s vaccine — was given emergency authorization in more than 70 countries, including the EU member states Hungary and Slovakia. The fanfare gained Russia’s life sciences industry prestige worldwide. 

However, Russian vaccine makers faced multiple troubles distributing the vaccine domestically and abroad, including vaccine hesitancy and supply chain delays. The US and many European countries already had a growing supply of Covid-19 vaccines from Western pharmaceutical companies. Meanwhile, the EMA began a rolling review of Sputnik V last year, but numerous snags in the process, including a lack of transparency around clinical results,

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