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Slovakia Becomes Second EU Member To Use Russia's Sputnik Vaccine

A woman receives the first dose of the Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 in Bratislava on June 7.

Slovakia has become the second European Union member state to start inoculating its citizens with the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, following months of controversy.

Starting on June 7, Sputnik V is offered on a voluntary basis to people 18 to 60 years of age and is available in eight vaccination centers.

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Slovakia last month approved the use of the two-shot vaccine, which has not been endorsed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and has bought 200,000 doses.

However, only about 5,000 people in the country of 5.5 million have registered so far to receive the shot.

Neighboring Hungary was the first EU member to use Sputnik V.

A secret deal for Slovakia to purchase 2 million Sputnik V doses triggered a political crisis in March that resulted in the collapse of the government of then-Prime Minister Igor Matovic.

Slovakia has been administering the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca jabs, all of which have been authorized by EMA.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters