17:01 GMT19 April 2021
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    ROME (Sputnik) - Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza expects a swift decision on the use of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in the EU from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

    "I remain convinced that what matters is not the nationality of the scientists, but the safety and effectiveness [of the vaccine]. And these are the things that only our regulatory agencies can establish. In any case, I expect that the EMA will quickly decide on Sputnik, as well as on other vaccines that will soon appear," the minister said in an interview with the La Stampa newspaper, published on Sunday.

    Notably, earlier this week Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said he did not rule out that the country would purchase doses of the Sputnik V vaccine in the absence of coordination within the bloc.

    On Saturday, Nicola Zingaretti, the president of the central Lazio region, announced that Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases (INMI) would start lab trials of Sputnik V once the related contract is signed.

    The announcement came a month after the institute submitted a positive opinion to the Italian Health Ministry regarding the efficacy and safety of the Russian vaccine. The related authorities of both countries have discussed vaccine cooperation ever since.

    Earlier on Sunday, INMI medical director Francesco Vaia said that the developer of Sputnik V - the Russian Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology - will send three of its researchers to Rome to join their Italian colleagues in studies of the Russian vaccine.

    Sputnik V has already been authorized for use in 54 countries. Last month, the prestigious Lancet medical magazine published a study, according to which the vaccine efficacy stands at 91.6 percent.

    vaccine, Sputnik V, Italy
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