Bosnian Serb leaders said on Wednesday that they would request that Bosnia and Herzegovina procure the Russian coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country in the world to give approval to a vaccine for COVID-19 after less than two months of human testing.
Moscow's move has drawn the condemnation of Western medical experts since there were no extensive clinical trials of the vaccine on a large population, which would show whether the vaccine was safe to use and effective.
Serb member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik, said on Wednesday in Banja Luka that he was convinced that the Russians thoroughly tested the quality and efficiency of the vaccine, so it should be ordered as soon as possible.
“I believe in that (vaccine),” said Dodik, who had earlier that day met with Russian ambassador Peter Ivantsov.
The Serb entity's Prime Minister Radovan Viskovic said there was no reason not to take immediate measures to order the vaccine. “It is important that… we stand in the line for the vaccine as soon as it appears on the marker,” Viskovic said.
However, Public Health Institute director, Branislav Zeljkovic, is reticent about quick acceptance of the Russian vaccine and underscores it has yet to be analysed in greater detail.
“Since vaccines are high-risk medicine, it is necessary to assess whether the vaccine meets all the standards required in our country,” Zeljkovic told reporters, noting there is not enough information at the moment to draw any conclusions.