On 11th August, Russia became the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine. President Vladimir Putin announced the Health Ministry’s approval and said one of his two adult daughters already was inoculated. “I know it has proven efficient and forms a stable immunity,” Putin said.
However, Russian authorities have offered no proof to back up claims of safety or effectiveness. Hence, scientists in Russia and other countries sounded an alarm, saying that rushing to offer the vaccine before final-stage testing could backfire. “Fast-tracked approval will not make Russia the leader in the race, it will just expose consumers of the vaccine to unnecessary danger,” said Russia’s Association of Clinical Trials Organizations.
According to Russia Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev, the vaccine will be available to other countries in November. He said that the Ministry of Health and bureaucrat would not have approved it “unless they were absolutely confident that the technology works.”
1.Lack of data
Russia claims that they have done Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials of the vaccine. The Phase 3 trial involves tens of thousands of people and can take months. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, an American neurosurgeon, medical reporter, and writer, states that some companies have already started Phase 3 trials. He says that its reasonable to be sceptical about this because Russia hasn’t even presented data of Phase 1 and phase 2 trials.
2. Testing the vaccine
“I think it was very interesting that Mr Dmitriev and other people working on it have given themselves this vaccine. Dmitriev said that he gave it to his parents who were in their 70s. That’s not Science; that’s audacity. You’re giving something that is unproven, that could potentially be harmful, to people without any data behind it. So that made me even more suspicious.” Said Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Talking about the trials, Russia informed that they will give it to high-risk people. People who are healthcare workers. “That is not an unreasonable thing but a couple of thousand healthcare workers are not a Phase 3 clinical trial. You need people from different age groups and different demographics.” Dr. Sanjay Gupta said that it doesn’t even seem like Russia is going to do that.
The statements were made in CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta interview with Russia Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement about the approval of a coronavirus vaccine amid unanswered questions over its safety.