First COVID-19 Vaccine from Russia and the Thoughts of Health Experts

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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced yesterday, 11th of July 2020, the first coronavirus disease vaccine in the world. The Russian scientists achieved a Science breakthrough as they won the global race and become the first country to approve an experimental vaccine for this pandemic. “A vaccine against coronavirus has been registered for the first time in the world this morning,” President Putin claimed on state TV. “I know that it works quite effectively, it forms a stable immunity,” he added.

The COVID-19 vaccine is called Sputnik V, it was named after the first-ever orbital satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1957. It became their reference for Russia sett off a global competition again and defeated the United States, Europe, and China’s laboratories. This shows that the push for vaccine victory is a form of national pride and worldwide competition for President Putin’s Government. Sputnik V was formulated at Gamaleya Institute in Moscow.

On the other side, in spite of the ray of hope felt by people who are waiting for this success, health experts are worried about Russia’s rushed COVID-19 vaccine. They did not release scientific data on their testings and critics believe that the speed invention of the vaccine against coronavirus is due to geopolitical pressure. The Sputnik V is not yet subjected to widespread trials or Phase 3, thus it can’t be sure that this would not cause dangerous effects for some healthy people. “I think it’s really scary. It’s really risky,” said Daniel Salmon, director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University.

Konstantin Chumakov, a member of the Global Virus Network, an international coalition working on viral threats, said “it is scientifically impossible to prove efficacy,” referring to undergoing Phase 3 trials.

Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said at a congressional hearing that “I do hope that Chinese And Russians are actually testing the vaccine before they are administering the vaccine to anyone because claims of having a vaccine ready to distribute before you do testing, I think, is problematic at best.”

After Russia’s vaccine raised alarm among global health experts, the country is still claiming Sputnik V’s effectivity even it jumped ahead of crucial Phase 3. In fact, President Vladimir Putin said that one of his own daughters had already taken a dose, but he did not mention who among the two was inoculated.

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