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Putin says the world's first vaccine has been approved for use

Putin Says the World’s First Vaccine Has Been Approved for Use

KRIMLIN – Russia has embraced the race to approve the world’s first vaccine, with Kirill Dmitriev, head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, comparing the research to the Soviet launch of the world’s first satellite in 1957.
Moscow has announced that the new coronavirus vaccine will be codenamed Sputnik V, about this success.
Russia is one of two dozen countries involved in vaccine trials. In July, the UK accused Russia of hacking data from advanced testing at Oxford University – to Moscow’s dismay.
The Russian vaccine uses adapted strains of adenovirus, a virus that typically causes the common cold, but researchers have failed to produce evidence of its safety or effectiveness.
Tests have been performed on soldiers and medical students, with regulatory approval arriving several months before the scheduled completion of clinical trials.
This speed and lack of transparency fueled concerns that geopolitics could have been prioritized over science.
On Monday, an association representing Russian pharmaceutical companies wrote to the Health Ministry warning of the lack of testing, noting that so far the vaccine had only been tested on less than a hundred people. When the final Phase 3 trials typically require thousands of volunteers.
François Balloux, director of the UCL Genetics Institute, called the decision to approve the “untested” vaccine “reckless”, “foolish” and “unethical”. Any problem with the Russian vaccine would have “disastrous” consequences; he added – “both in its negative health effects, but also because it would further delay the acceptance of vaccines in the population.”
Mikhail Favorov, an epidemiologist at the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention who served on the board of the Gamaleya Institute between 1989 and 1990, suggested his former colleagues knowingly cut corners to please the political masters.
In a social media post, he revealed that he had asked them for data on the adenovirus vaccine – but went unanswered.
“I hope with all my heart that the vaccine is protective and safe,” he said.
“We will know soon enough if the vaccinated do not get sick from COVID-19, which will be great. If they get sick, we’ll know it’s not working, which is terrible. But if people start dying in the proportion of one in a hundred or a thousand, then it will be particularly severe, and for [the developers] who risk jail.”
In a hearing before Congress last month, Anthony Fauci, the man leading the US coronavirus response effort, also warned of the dangers of an under-tested vaccine.
“I hope the Chinese and the Russians really test the vaccine before giving it to anyone,” he said.
“Claims that a vaccine is ready for distribution before testing is problematic, to say the least.”
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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