Russia's COVID-19 vaccine

Russia’s ‘Sputnik V’ COVID-19 vaccine

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, revealed that the country was the first to develop and register the first vaccine against COVID-19, and he declared that the vaccine gives “immunity” against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

The WHO has responded to Russia’s claim by stating that if the nation wants the WHO’s consent, an extensive review of the vaccine’s safety data requires to be sent to WHO.

Tarik Jasarevic, the spokesperson for WHO, said that pre-qualification of any vaccine consists of the strenuous testimonial and also the assessment of all the required safety and efficiency data.

He added that discussions are ongoing relative to possible WHO pre-qualification of the vaccine against COVID-19, and they are in close contact with the Russian health authorities.

Registered but unproven Sputnik V vaccine

The name of the vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ refers to the Soviet launch of the first satellite in 1957 that caught the world by astound. The vaccine was developed in collaboration with the Russian Defence ministry and Gamaleya Research Institute, Russia.

The ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine is among two vaccine candidates from Russia and is among 21 candidates from around the globe. However, Mikhail Murashko, the Russian health minister, declares that

the vaccine has shown high effectiveness and safety, suggesting that Phase 2 trials have actually been finished.

Murashko said that all the volunteers developed high titers of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Most importantly, no one had major problems with immunization.

Murashko claimed that a mass vaccination campaign, the SARS-CoV-2 will undoubtedly begin in October. The very first doses will be offered to doctors as well as educators. He included that the vaccine will be ‘absolutely free,’ with the costs coming out of the national budget.

According to Kirill Dmitriev, the main investor in the vaccine’s development, head of the country’s Russian Direct Investment Fund, and sovereign wealth fund said that more than 20 nations, including India, have expressed their interest in the vaccine.

According to Dmitriev, about 20 nations had given “initial applications” to Russia to secure a total amount of over 1 billion dosages of their ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine. For the production of an overall 500 million doses per year, they have signed for the arrangements with 5 nations. It is anticipated that the Phase 3 trials of the vaccine will take place in the UAE, Philippines, and Saudi Arabia.

There is no large scale trial of the vaccine to support the claim that it works, while Russia has explained its intent on being the first in the world to develop a vaccine against COVID-19.

According to Ayfer Ali, a specialist at Britain’s Warwick Business School’s research wing, Russia is carrying out a large population-level experiment of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Authorizations that come through very swiftly can mean that study of vaccine ‘s adverse effects might not have been properly done.

Generally, the side effects of vaccines are rare, due to the fact that extensive processes of monitoring and approval are done prior to the launch of a vaccine for public use. Ali claimed that even if any adverse results do transpire, they could be major as well as trigger long-lasting damage.

Authorization from WHO awaited 

Jasarevic explained at the WHO briefing that every nation has national regulatory agencies that approve the use of vaccines or medicines in its region. He added vaccines and medications have WHO’s process of pre-qualification.

The manufacturers seek the agency’s stamp of quality, as well as authorization for its use when a vaccine is prequalified by the WHO.

Jasarevic said that to obtain the authorization, there are evaluation and assessment of all required safety and efficacy information gathered from the clinical tests, and WHO will do this for any kind of vaccine candidate developed.

The pandemic has seen an unprecedented mobilization of research and funding to find a working prevention tool against COVID-19. According to a vaccine tracker from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, an estimated 230 vaccine candidates in under development.

Jasarevic said that they really hope some of these vaccines will prove to be safe and efficient as they have been always claiming.

He included, however increasing progression does not suggest jeopardizing safety.


Author: Sruthi S