Experts grow worrisome on Russian COVID-19 vaccine; Rolling out in two weeks

Russian President Vladimir Putin shook the medical community with his news about getting registration for the “world’s first” COVID-19 vaccine.

There’s little that the public knows about the Russian COVID-19 vaccine—also known as Sputnik V. With it already transitioning to Phase 3 of trials, most of the medical experts are getting worried about how the development is somehow rushed.

Russian COVID-19 vaccine seems risky

The New York Times quotes the director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University, Daniel Salmon, referring to the Russian vaccine saying, “I think it’s really scary. It’s really risky.”

Russia is reportedly about to roll out the vaccine within two weeks’ time, based on the Aljareeza report.

The country is said to have the fourth-largest number of coronavirus cases in the world, having 902,701, as of this writing, and 15,260 deaths, based on the Worldometer

Coming up with a vaccine to finally fight off the coronavirus has been the utmost priority of everyone in the world. However, experts believe that Sputnik V is rushed, which caused many of the experts to grow worrisome.

Natalie Dean of the University of Florida is skeptical that Russia has “sufficient data about the efficacy of the product.” Despite having promising results on the development’s early stages, the probability of it flopping on the later stage, in this case on Phase 3, is still high.

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko addressed the global concern that emerged after Putin’s announcement, saying:

“It seems our foreign colleagues are sensing the specific competitive advantages of the Russian drug and are trying to express opinions that in our opinion are completely groundless.”

Murashko was quoted by Interfaxa Russian publication, about the “high efficacy and safety” of the vaccine, as the health minister claims, “All the volunteers developed high titers of antibodies to COVID-19. At the same time, none of them had serious complications of immunization.”

Is the vaccine all for political show?

Many are worried that this global push by Russia is more of a political show than finally putting an end to the global pandemic. John Moore of Weill Cornell Medical College told The New York Times:

“This is all beyond stupid. Putin doesn’t have a vaccine, he’s just making a political statement.”

Previous reports claim that there might be pressure on Putin’s end brought by the Kremlin. Nevertheless, this development has already caught the attention of other countries, such as the Philippines and the state of Paraná in Southern Brazil.

The state of Paraná has reportedly already entered in an agreement with Russia for the production of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, local media outlets in the Philippines have reported the willingness of its president to participate in clinical studies of Sputnik V. Although, it’ll need to pass the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) approval first, per the country’s Presidential spokesman.

Featured image courtesy of CGN089/Shutterstock

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