A woman receives the second component of the Gam-COVID-Vac (Sputnik V) COVID-19 vaccine.

Valentin Sprinchak | TASS | Getty Images

LONDON – The European Medicines Agency has announced it will begin assessing the Russian coronavirus sting Sputnik V as the block seeks to speed up its vaccination program.

“The EMA will assess compliance with the usual EU standards for effectiveness, safety and quality by Sputnik V. While the EMA cannot predict the overall deadlines, the evaluation of a possible application should take less time than normal,” said the regulator in a statement on Thursday.

If the review is successful, the Russian vaccine would still need a regulatory filing before it is lit green for administration in the 27 Member States.

The news comes after some European countries indicated they could start giving Sputnik V by bypassing the regulator.

This is a breaking news item that will be updated.