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Russian Coronavirus Vaccine : SPUTNIK V

by  Begüm GÜVEN

In early August, we heard from Russia that it approved a coronavirus vaccine for its people, without enough human testing. Putin claimed that he knows that “the vaccine has proven to be efficient and forms a stable unity.” Scientists from all over the world criticized the lack of transparency in the making of the vaccine. Most believe that Phase 3 of the vaccine testing was not sufficient in the case of Sputnik V, meaning that more trials are necessary before sending the vaccine off to the markets. (1)

The name of the vaccine comes from the world’s first satellite launched by the Soviet Union. The vaccine is developed from a similar formula with that of the common cold vaccine, the adenovirus. The vaccine is expected to cure SARS- CoV 2 as well, which according to the Russian Health Ministry, what causes the COVID-19.(2) Vaccine and its method of using have patent protection in Russia, obtained by Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

Russia stated that they were starting the clinical trials in the month of August, and the WHO said that they were looking forward to reviewing them. A couple of days ago, Russia announced that the Sputnik-V vaccine has produced an antibody response in all 76 participants. Even though the experts welcomed the news, most reacted cautiously stating that the sample size is too small and the trials should be more elderly focused. (3) The registration of the vaccine has already started and Russia is starting the mass delivery in September, but they also stated in their website that they were launching a “post-registration clinical trials, involving more than 40.000 people in Russia” (4). Other countries such as Saudi Arabia, Philippines, and maybe India and Brazil will also be joining the trials locally. Russia also said that more than 20 countries have requested over 1 billion doses of the Sputnik V vaccine despite safety concerns. 

Sputnik is expected to enter civilian circulation on January 1, 2021. 

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