WHO delays review of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine on Ukraine conflict

The Sputnik V shot, widely used in Russia and approved in more than 60 countries, is also being reviewed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Vials of the Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine are seen at the Del-Pest Central Hospital in Budapest, Hungary, February 12, 2021. (photo credit: ZOLTAN BALOGH/MTI/MTVA/POOL VIA REUTERS/FILE PHOTO)
Vials of the Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine are seen at the Del-Pest Central Hospital in Budapest, Hungary, February 12, 2021.
(photo credit: ZOLTAN BALOGH/MTI/MTVA/POOL VIA REUTERS/FILE PHOTO)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has delayed its ongoing assessment of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for emergency use because of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, an official from the health agency said on Wednesday.

The Sputnik V shot, widely used in Russia and approved in more than 60 countries, is also being reviewed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

"We were supposed to go do inspections in Russia on March 7, and these inspections were postponed for a later date," Mariângela Simão, WHO assistant-director general for Access to Medicines and Health Products, said during a press briefing.

A healthcare worker shows an ampule with the Sputnik V coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in Podgorica, Montenegro, February 22, 2021. (credit: REUTERS)A healthcare worker shows an ampule with the Sputnik V coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in Podgorica, Montenegro, February 22, 2021. (credit: REUTERS)

"New dates will be set as soon as possible."

She also said the agency was facing other operational issues, including difficulties in booking flights and using credit cards, which have been discussed with the Russian applicant.