New Europe spoke with Roberto Ciavatta, the Health Secretary of San Marino, concerning the small republic’s immunization technique and its use of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine that different EU nations are utilizing.
NEW EUROPE (NE): What is your vaccination plan and did you develop contacts in Russia with a view to obtain the Sputnik vaccine?
Roberto Ciavatta (RC): The timeline relies upon solely on vaccine availability. If we may work with none provide downside, we may full the vaccination marketing campaign in two or three months. At the second we’ve got solely 15,000 doses of Sputnik V. A couple of days in the past we obtained 1,170 doses from Pfizer. We are actually ready for doses from Moderna within the framework of the protocol signed with Italy and the EU Commission. With Johnson & Johnson, we’ve got already contacted them to schedule a provide plan, however sadly, I see this as a tough possibility. In the vaccination course of, we’ve got a inhabitants of 35,000. If we don’t depend the variety of people who find themselves beneath 16, we’ve got a inhabitants of 29,000. Therefore, the method could be very quick. About our negotiations for the Sputnik vaccine, they went by means of our contacts with the Russian group on the Council of Europe. We have a delegation there and so they put us involved with the inspiration that’s taking good care of the commercialization of the vaccine. We used additionally our diplomatic channels and contacted the Russian Ambassador for Italy and San Marino. The negotiations had been fairly quick and we obtained the doses solely three weeks after the primary contact.
NE: Are you in talks with different nations on a vaccine provide?
RC: Yes, we opened then negotiations with the entire nations with whom we’ve got good diplomatic relations. We are a impartial state with out a military and we get pleasure from good relations with plenty of nations. Israel is one among them, however the entire rumors about supposed vaccines arriving from Israel in the mean time are completely false.
NE: Which scientific information did you consider while you determined to make use of the Russian vaccine?
RC: I noticed the information not too long ago that Slovakia had additionally determined to make use of Sputnik V, however there have been additionally constructive publications in Lancet and different opinions from scientific institutes, like Spallanzani in Rome, which licensed the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. When we signed the contract with the Russian basis, they despatched us the paperwork of the exams of the vaccine. We gave all these components to our nationwide Ethics Committee on Research and Experimentation, which incorporates well-known pharmacologists. After an correct evaluation, the Committee issued a doc confirming, from the scientific viewpoint, a constructive analysis of the vaccine. Then, for us, with a view to begin distributing it to the inhabitants, it was sufficient to have the approval of Sputnik V from at the very least one of many many regulatory our bodies at a world degree.
NE: How do you see the cooperation on Sputnik V or different vaccines?
RC: We are nonetheless ready to listen to from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. Our objective is to begin talks as quickly as doable with a view to signal an settlement and discover a approach to enhance the provision of Sputnik V. If we may then give the vaccine to round 10,000 San Marino residents who’re residents in Italy, this could possibly be a significant reduction for Italy. By following the entire protocols, we’re additionally accessible then to vaccinate Italians working in San Marino, however for this, we have to signal further agreements with the Italian authorities.
NE: Do you agree with Brussels’ concept of an EU “vaccination passport“?
RC: Our vaccinated residents will obtain an inside nationwide card with a view to determine the inhabitants who took the second dose. Regarding the EU’s plan to go within the course of a “vaccine passport”, we would wish to open an inside nationwide dialogue first to guage the state of affairs.
NE: There is a large debate on how one can cope with individuals who had the virus, what will be your approach in time period of vaccinations?
RC: This is a vital problem. We had a large unfold of the virus right here and in addition a few of my colleagues fell sufferer to COVID. Of course, we’ve got analyze the state of affairs. Our specialists instructed me that anybody who had the virus has a “memory”, even when there are not any extra antibodies. In case of a brand new an infection, the antibodies are capable of begin a fast response towards the virus. In this state of affairs the outcomes should not going to drive the affected person right into a hospital mattress. We have determined that those that already had the virus on this first part should not going to be vaccinated.
NE: We not too long ago noticed personal brokers providing vaccines on to the presidents of varied Italian areas. Did you get related gives?
RC: About these vaccine brokers, sure we had been additionally contacted, however we determined for safety causes to stay solely to formal and institutional paths. We had been very cautious on this regard.