The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, has opened the door for Spain to use the Russian vaccine against COVID-19, known as ‘Sputnik V’, on the condition that it is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA, for its acronym in English).
“We will enthusiastically receive any vaccine that has the authorization of the EMAThis is the only margin, “said Darias during her first speech in the Congress of Deputies as Minister of Health, after being questioned by the deputy of EH Bildu Iñaki Ruiz de Pinedo about the possibility of using ‘Sputnik V’ in Spain given the shortage of vaccines.
Ruiz de Pinedo has denounced to the Minister the “speculative business at the expense of public health” which, in his opinion, are being carried out by some pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca. “This blackmail is not acceptable. We are surprised by the harshness of the European Commission in ordering cuts and how flexible it has been to the blackmail of this pharmaceutical company,” he denounced.
Given the situation of shortage of doses that the ‘old continent’ is going through during the first quarter of the year, he has proposed to the minister “release patents on vaccines, making them a public good; the temporary nationalization of pharmaceutical companies that speculate with vaccines and fail to fulfill their commitments; and create a European pharmaceutical industry for the research and public production of essential medicines. ”
In response, Darias has defended the European Commission’s advance purchase strategy as “an unprecedented milestone”, and has once again shown all its “support” to the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, “in demanding that companies comply with what was signed.”
In any case, he has argued that vaccination in Spain “is progressing despite difficulties”. “We are pending of AstraZeneca, that I suppose that soon we will know the initial doses. We hope that from the month of March there will be a significant increase that will put us in another scenario to meet the objectives,” he added.
To be continued are the “path traced” by Illa
Darias has also assured in the plenary session of Congress that he will continue with the “path outlined” by the former minister Salvador Illa in the fight against the coronavirus, and has asked the PP for collaboration to end the pandemic.
Darias has thus spoken to a question formulated by the deputy of the Popular Parliamentary Group, Jose Ignacio Echániz, who has given him “congratulations” for having started his candidacy for the presidency of the Canary Islands, after Illa left the Ministry of Health to be a candidate for the president of the Generalitat of Catalonia.
“The philosopher Illa will be remembered as the worst Minister of Health of Spanish democracy but also like the one who enjoyed and who used the greatest pandemic in history to pave his way to Catalonia “, Echániz pointed out in the Lower House.
For this reason, the ‘popular’ deputy has regretted that Darias is going to follow the path outlined by Illa because, in his opinion, he will continue to “hide” the death toll, the commission of experts and the criteria for the distribution of vaccines. “He has been a silent accomplice of the nefarious vaccination plan and the unequal treatment of Spanish citizens depending on who their government was, spreading the Catalan vaccine campaign these days, “Echániz snapped to the minister, after wishing her” all the best “at the head of the Ministry.
Given this, Darias has defended the “great work” done by Illa in the Department of Health because it has done in “unimaginable” circumstances. Therefore, he has asked the PP to join the fight against the coronavirus, and has once again shown its support to all the autonomous communities, “without exception.”
In this sense, the minister recalled that the “main” measure to end the pandemic is vaccination. “It is the horizon of hope”, has sentenced. That said, he recalled that in a month, 1,673,054 doses have already been administered and more than 400,000 people have already received the second dose and, therefore, are immunized.
“I propose that in this fight against the pandemic, which is a war without truce, you join in and in an important way because we need to reduce the transmission of the virus and continue promoting the vaccination strategy, which is shared and with equitable criteria and in relation to the target population “, has settled Darias.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.