Russia cries “sabotage” after Slovakia questions quality of Sputnik vaccine

Former Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic wears a face mask as he gives a press statement at the International Airport in Kosice, Slovakia, on March 1, 2021, after an aircraft of the Slovak Army arrived from Moscow, carrying doses of the Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19.

Enlarge / Former Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic wears a face mask as he gives a press statement at the International Airport in Kosice, Slovakia, on March 1, 2021, after an aircraft of the Slovak Army arrived from Moscow, carrying doses of the Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19. (credit: Getty | Peter Lazar)

Russia has asked Slovakia to return 200,000 doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine after Slovak testing indicated serious quality control issues.

The Slovak regulatory agency, the State Institute for Drug Control, reported that the batches it received did not “have the same characteristics and properties” as the Sputnik vaccine that was peer-reviewed in the Lancet and found to be 91.6 percent effective.

In light of Slovakia’s doubts about the quality of the vaccine doses, Russia went on the attack on Twitter. Russia’s official “Sputnik V” Twitter account claimed in a thread that the Slovak regulator has “launched a disinformation campaign against #SputnikV and plans additional provocations.” The account labeled the agency’s testing results as “fake news.”

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