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19 Feb, 2021 09:52

US diplomats in Russia have asked to receive Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine after Washington failed to supply doses — reports

US diplomats in Russia have asked to receive Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine after Washington failed to supply doses — reports

With their own government unable to provide them with Covid-19 vaccines, a number of American diplomats based in Moscow have reportedly asked their hosts to allow them be inoculated with Moscow's own pioneering Sputnik V formula.

That's according to The Washington Post, citing documents obtained by the newspaper, which revealed that the US’ representatives around the world have complained about the way their superiors have decided to distribute vaccines.

"In Russia, some State Department personnel appealed to Moscow for doses of its Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine after Washington could not promise the delivery of US-made vaccines in the near future," the report outlined, citing officials. "The State Department is not recommending that its employees take it but is permitting them to make their own health decisions."

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The publication also revealed that the frustration isn't limited to just Russia, with similar complaints coming in from American diplomats stationed around the world. The US State Department has requested 315,000 doses of vaccine to cover the entirety of its workforce but has received just 23 percent of this, the Post claims.

On Friday, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that it had sent sent out invitations to all embassies in the country for their staff to be vaccinated.

"[This practice] is widespread in many states, and is quite understandable – successful fighting against the epidemic requires, as much as possible, a wide coverage of all people in the country," it stated.

While the US has not yet approved Sputnik V, the vaccine has already been authorized in 29 different countries, including Argentina, Mexico, and the UAE. The developers have also applied for European Union authorization through the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Last week, Hungary became the first EU country to begin inoculation using the Russian-made formula, despite a lack of approval from Brussels.

In Russia, mass vaccination began in January.

Created by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, Sputnik V became the world's first Covid-19 vaccine to be registered in August last year. In February, British medical journal The Lancet published the preliminary results from the jab's phase III trial, which showed an efficacy of 91.6 percent.

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