Russia’s Approval Of COVID-19 Vaccine
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced on 11 August that the country’s health regulator had become the world’s first to approve a coronavirus vaccine for widespread use — but scientists worldwide have condemned the decision as dangerously rushed. Russia hasn’t completed large trials to test its safety and efficacy, and rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could put at risk people who receive it, researchers say. It could also impede global efforts to develop quality COVID-19 immunizations, they suggest.
The nation’s Ministry of Health issued what’s called a registration certificate for a vaccine candidate that has been tested in just 76 people. The certificate allows the vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, to be given to “a small number of citizens from vulnerable groups,” including medical staff and the elderly, a Ministry of Health spokesperson tells Science Insider.
However, mass vaccination with an improperly tested vaccine is unethical. According to the ClinicalTrials.gov listings, the vaccine, which is given in two doses, is made of two adenoviruses that express the coronavirus spike protein.“Not sure what Russia is up to, but I certainly would not take a vaccine that hasn’t been tested in Phase III,” said Florian Krammer, a virologist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, in a tweet. “Nobody knows if it’s safe or if it works. They are putting [health-care workers] and their population at risk.”
Collected by; Aishwarya Thapa
Nature ISSN 1476-4687 (online)