Disinfo: Sputnik V is the second most popular vaccine in the world as the EU constitutes one regulatory approval


The Russian Sputnik V vaccine has risen to the second place in the list of the most popular coronavirus vaccines in the world, in terms of countries that agreed to use it.


This claim is based on a tweet published by Sputnik V's official account claiming that it comes only second to Astrazeneca in terms of regulatory approvals, not countries. The tweet does not provide a detailed list of national regulatory authorities that have granted approval and therefore does not allow for effective fact-checking. However, the tweet mentions that the EU was counted as one "regulatory approval" because the "EU treats the European Medicines Agency's approval as one."

This way of counting does not reflect reality and was likely adopted to up the ranking of the Sputnik V vaccine because, when EU member states are counted individually, Sputnik V would rank third, as this tracker developed by McGill University shows, because of limited adoption by EU member states.

Member States could administer vaccines procured outside of the EU Vaccines Strategy based on an emergency use authorisation, foreseen under the Article 5(2) procedure of the EU pharmaceutical legislation. This is a matter of national competence, and the liability – as well as the full responsibility – related to such use falls with the Member State.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is currently making an EMA rolling review of Sputnik V vaccine. Earlier this year, Russian media celebrated the regulatory approval granted by Hungary to Sputnik V as the first EU member state to do so.


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  • Reported in: Issue 236
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Arabic,
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: Sputnik V, vaccination, coronavirus
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