Disputes about the Sputnik V vaccine

President Miloš Zeman has called for the dismissal of the Minister of Health Jan Blatný (for ANO) over his position on Russia's Sputnik V.

According to the President, Blatný and the director of the State Institute for Drug Control Irena Storová are responsible for the unnecessary deaths of people in the Czech Republic. Blatný reiterated today that he would not grant a temporary exemption to the Sputnik V vaccine which has not yet been approved by the European Medicines Agency.

The Minister does not oppose the vaccine for ideological reasons. If approved by the EMA, he would support its use as with all the currently used vaccines. However, by granting the exemption, the state would take responsibility for any side effects. In addition, insurance companies would not be able to pay for Sputnik V's application.

Blatný also faces criticism from the Communist MPs. On the other hand, many members of the opposition support his position.

According to the Minister, by the end of June, there should be so many registered and approved vaccines that six million people could receive both needed doses. All adults could be vaccinated at the end of summer as by the end of August, a total of 16.5 million doses are to be delivered.