12:48 GMT18 April 2021
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    ROME(Sputnik) - Italy's Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases (INMI) is going to start trials of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Nicola Zingaretti, the president of the central Lazio region, said on Saturday.

    In February, the INMI submitted a positive opinion to the Italian Ministry of Health regarding the efficacy and safety of the Russian vaccine. The institute chief said that the country would send two inspectors to visit vaccine production sites in Russia. In early March, the INMI discussed vaccine cooperation with the Sputnik V developer, the Moscow-based Gamaleya research institute, via a video link.

    "In a few days, the first contract for scientific trials of the Sputnik V vaccine will be struck — naturally, pending EMA authorization in terms of studying virus variants," Zingaretti said during a visit to a vaccination centre in Rome.

    He described it as "good news that will allow us to make a leap" in ensuring access to more vaccines.

    Sputnik V has already been approved for use in 54 countries. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) launched a review of the Russian vaccine in early March.

    Sputnik V, Italy
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