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

Vials labelled "Sputnik V Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed Sputnik V logo, in this illustration photo taken March 12, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 16 (Reuters) - 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.

"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.

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Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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