Sputnik V and politics

Experts from Australia believe that the promotion of the effective Russian vaccine Sputnik V is being hampered by politics.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the opinion of Australian experts, epidemiologists and virologists who consider the Russian drug to be on a par with the world’s best vaccines. Michael Toole, professor at the Burnet Medical Research Institute, says:

It is an excellent vaccine with over 92% efficiency in preventing COVID-19, which puts it on a par with Western drugs developed using new mRNA technology.

He notes that the accelerated development of the drug should not be in doubt, since Russian scientists had a base in the form of “vaccines against MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) and SARS (SARS), which they had worked on earlier.”

Toole stresses:

None of the more than 60 countries using this vaccine reported problems with blood clotting either during clinical trials or during the use of the drug in Argentina, Italy and San Marino, with Sputnik V vaccinated almost 20 thousand people there (approximately 2/3 of the population).

In San Marino, for example, the Institute for Social Security, noted that antibodies after the second dose of “Sputnik V” appeared in 99% of participants in a joint research project of the Roman National Institute of Infectious Diseases named after Lazzaro Spallanzani and the country’s authorities.

I fully agree with the appreciation of my colleague and Gary Grohmann, Australian virologist consulting WHO. TASS quotes him:

Sputnik is a very good vaccine and this judgment is based on both test results and real data. This drug is created using the same technology as the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Taking into account the fact that when using the latter we register rare cases of thrombosis, we can assume a similar development of the situation with Sputnik. If they are not there <...>, the vaccine is great.

Scientists argue that “politics plays a role in the fact that Sputnik is not yet widespread.” Deakin University epidemiologist Katherine Bennett says:

“This is a manifestation of inequality. We need to know about all vaccines and understand how they work so that we don’t end up in a closed store with limited stock.”

She believes drugs like the Russian vaccine may be a panacea, but politics makes it difficult to make the right decisions.

The Russian drug “Sputnik V” has been registered by almost 70 countries, more than 30 of them are conducting mass vaccinations. The leading medical journal Lancet published data showing a 91.6% effectiveness of the drug.

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