A Russian medical worker displays a trial vaccine against COVID-19 in a post-registration phase of the test at outpatient hospital number 68 in Moscow, Russia, 17 September 2020. Russia registered the new vaccine called 'Sputnik V' against Coronavirus Sars-Cov-2 and opens the stage of its massive testing. EPA-EFE/SERGEI ILNITSKY

Austria currently can satisfy its own needs for a vaccine against the novel coronavirus but is ready to research the possibility of using additional preparations if such are registered in the European Union, the Austrian Health Ministry told a TASS correspondent on Tuesday in response to a question whether Austria is ready to order the Russian Sputnik V vaccine in case of its registration in the EU after positive research results were published in the Lancet medical journal.

“Austria within the framework of a joint European process of purchases receives about 24.5 mln doses of a vaccine so it can sufficiently cover its demand for a vaccine. If the EU approves additional vaccines, we, certainly, will attentively study their use within the framework of Austria’s vaccination strategy. The European Union and Austria do not have problems with vaccines which were reserved by contracts for 2021, yet [there are issues] only with the fact that vaccine manufacturers cannot supply large volumes of doses in the first quarter,” the ministry noted in response.

Earlier, the Lancet published the results of Phase Three clinical trials of the Russian vaccine according to which it is one of the safest and most effective ones worldwide. The efficacy of the preparation amounted to 91.6%, among volunteers over 60 – to 91.8%. Antibodies to the coronavirus after inoculation with Sputnik V were detected in 98% of volunteers. After this, leader of the Freedom Party of Austria and former Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology Norbert Hofer stated that Austria should follow Hungary’s suit and enter into an agreement with Russia in order to purchase Sputnik V and include it in its vaccination plan.

In November 2020, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz excluded a possibility of using the Sputnik V vaccine in his country because the Austrian side has contractual obligations with European suppliers. Inoculation against the coronavirus in Austria was launched in December 2020 using preparations by Pfizer and BioNTech, as well as Moderna. Later, Vienna expects deliveries of a vaccine by AstraZeneca.

On August 11, 2020, Russia became the first worldwide to register the vaccine against the coronavirus which was named Sputnik V. The preparation was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry. Sputnik V is a human adenovirus-based vector vaccine. The Sputnik V vaccine has already been registered in Russia, Belarus, Argentina, Bolivia, Serbia, Algeria, Palestine, Venezuela, Paraguay, Turkmenistan, Hungary, the UAE, Iran, the Republic of Guinea, Tunisia and Armenia.