Germans furious with EU vaccine fiasco could fly to RUSSIA for Sputnik V jabs in huge boost to Putin
March. 02, 2021
GERMANS furious at the EU coronavirus vaccine fiasco could fly to Moscow to get a jab in a major PR boost for Vladimir Putin.
Reports say state airline Lufthansa is in talks to launch queue-jumping flights for wealthy passengers to get a dose of Russia's Sputnik V.
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It comes amid desperation in Germany and its neighbours at the shambolic rollout across the EU .
Germany has managed to vaccinate only five per cent of its 84million population - while over a million AstraZeneca doses sit unused in fridges.
Some are looking at Putin's Sputnik V jab which claims to be over 90 per cent effective.
Lufthansa is reportedly discussing the "medical tourism" jet scheme with bosses at Moscow's Domodedovo airport.
The German airline is also in talks with the Russian foreign ministry about a regular service to the airport, it was reported.
Passengers would fly in and out without necessarily needing a visa or entering the country to see the sights such as Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral.
They would then make a second trip three weeks later to be fully protected by the Russian vaccine.
Two return flights from Frankfurt are estimated to cost around £1,750.
Domodedovo, Moscow’s second largest airport, already has a vaccine centre in the arrivals area.
But a report claimed a special Lufthansa jab facility could be set up airside, potentially meaning passengers would not have to go through passport control and customs.
They could get jabbed straight after landing and board another flight home soon after.
Billionaire airport owner Dmitry Kamenshchik has “bought into the idea of providing a medical tourism service to vaccinate against coronavirus”, reported Berlin-based BNE IntelliNews.
Clearance from Vladimir Putin’s government would be needed.
But the scheme could act as a powerful advertisement for his flagship vaccine weeks after humiliated Angela Merkel was reported to be considering turning to Russia for help .
“Germany managed to screw up its procurement of sufficient numbers of doses to roll out the mass vaccination of its population by sticking to bureaucratic EU public procurement rules,” said the BNE report.
Warning that many people will not get a jab until 2022, it added: “The rich don't want to wait that long.
“Lufthansa is betting they are willing to buy special tickets to Moscow.”
Lufthansa told BNE IntelliNews it did not intend to open its own facility at Domodedovo which has an existing vaccination centre.
The airline’s service centre said it had no details yet on flight times.
A spokesman for Domodedovo airport said no details were yet available on the plans.
Sputnik V, once derided in the West , has recently attracted interest from countries with short supplies of other vaccines such as the Pfizer jab.
Last month Hungary became the first EU country to start using the vaccine, bypassing the bungled procurement scheme run from Brussels.
However, Russia has failed so far to vaccinate more than five per cent of its own people as production falls short of demand with orders rising from abroad.
Today embarrassing graphs lay bare the chaos of the EU vaccination program, which has been beset by bungled orders and misinformation about which jabs work.
If the current snail-pace rate continues, France and Germany will not hit their 70 per cent vaccination target until November 2022.
By the target date in September, only around 29 per cent of adults in the EU are forecast to have had two doses.
Meanwhile four in five of the 6.1million AstraZeneca doses delivered to the bloc are still unused.
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