The Antigua & Barbuda Pharmacy Council says it is prepared to give the nod for use of Sputnik V, the Russian-made vaccine, in the Government’s vaccination campaign.
In a letter to the relevant authorities, Michael Joseph, the President of the Pharmacy Council, says the body has fully reviewed the independently verified data on the vaccine by the world-renowned medical journal The Lancet.
Given residents’s reluctance to continue receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine – due to “nominal reports of possibly associated blood clots” – the Council says it is“prepared to recommend” the use of Sputnik V according to its legal responsibilities.
However, to facilitate this process, Joseph says the Council is requesting a number of documents from the supplier of the vaccine.
These will include a letter of authenticity from the research centre in Russia “verifying the batch as from their production.”
Since the drug is a Combined Vector Vaccine, it is critical to know which vector was sent to Antigua and Barbuda two weeks ago, when it received a donated shipment from Russia.
Further,“the inner leaflet should be made available in English (at minimum) as legislatively stipulated … in the 2019 Pharmacy Regulations” Joseph writes.
The Council assures that, once the requisite documents are procured, this is the final step in its due diligence process. This will pave the way for full usage of the Sputnik-V vaccine here.
Meanwhile, speaking at today’s post-Cabinet press briefing, Melford Nicholas, the Minister of Information, says the country is expecting to order 50,000 doses of the Russian vaccine.
He claims that the public’s interest in the vaccine has been positive.