DISINFO: Sputnik V is effective against the new strain but Europe refuses to buy it for political reasons
  • Outlet: sputnik-georgia.ru (archived)*
  • Date of publication: December 29, 2020
  • Outlet language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 226
  • Countries / regions discussed: EU, Russia
Sputnik V coronavirus vaccination

DISINFO: Sputnik V is effective against the new strain but Europe refuses to buy it for political reasons


It is unclear whether it [the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine] will be effective against all the new strains. BioNTech has no such evidence yet.

The effectiveness of Sputnik V against the new strain has been proven. But Europe refuses to buy it for political reasons.


The claim advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V; casting Russia as the spearhead of the global race to develop effective treatment for COVID-19. This is a part of a campaign aiming to promote the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.

The claim that the West, in particular, Europe, refuses to buy the Russian Sputnik V vaccine for political reasons is unfounded. If the Russian developer wished to place their vaccine on the EU market it would have to approach the European Medicines Agency (EMA) with a request for a rolling review or a marketing authorization application, just as any other vaccine developer. So far (as of 12/01/2012) the EMA has not received an application for the sales of Sputnik V on the European market.

The EMA has already issued a conditional marketing authorization for BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine.

The related disinformation claims alleging that the West is fighting a Russian vaccine, not a virus; that Western attacks on the Russian coronavirus vaccine are a corporate cold war against humanity; that Russian progress in COVID-19 vaccine has become for the West an outrageous challenge, that Sputnik V is a target of the corporate cold war; that the West wants to discredit the Sputnik V; that the WHO and Microsoft sabotaged the Russian vaccine; that the West criticises the Sputnik V because it can’t accept Russia’s primacy and because its pharmaceutical companies will lose billions of dollars.


Related disinfo cases


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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