COVID-19 Vaccine: Russia Announces Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Program in October Despite Lack Of Any Proper Clinical Trials!
: Russia’s Minister for Health Mikhail Murashko announced that Russia is planning a nationwide program to vaccinate its population against COVID-19 starting in October. The vaccine has not yet completed clinical trials. Murashko indicated they would begin by vaccinating teachers and health care workers.
He also told the RIA state news agency that while in the middle of accelerated testing, the laboratory that developed the vaccine had already submitted for regulatory approval.
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told a congressional panel on Friday, “I do hope that the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing the vaccine before they are administering the vaccine to anyone.”
When asked about the Russian vaccine, Dr Fauci said, “We could have a vaccine tomorrow, we wouldn’t be safe or effective, but we could have a vaccine tomorrow. But we want to prove that it’s safe and effective, and that’s the reason why we’re doing the clinical trials. So anybody could say they have a vaccine and make it, but you have to prove that it’s safe and effective. Which I doubt that they’ve shown that, but you know, we’ll see.”
The Russian state television has been claiming that Russia is leading the competition for a COVID-19 vaccine for several months. In May, the Russian government claimed a Russian researcher had injected himself with a vaccine early in the process.
A senior official with Russia Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, a government-controlled investor in Russia’s vaccination effort, indicated a Phase III trial of the vaccine will launch early this month.
The WHO or World Health Organization has maintained
a comprehensive list of vaccine trials around the world, but there is no Russian Phase III trial on the list, at least not yet.
“We believe it will be one of the first vaccines with regulatory approval,”said Dmitriev.
There is very little transparency with the Russian program, so it’s difficult to tell if there’s any truth to the claims about the trial. And critics have pointed out that Russia has a history of cutting corners in pharmaceutical research and there have been accusations of intellectual property theft. For example, there have been recent accusations of Russian state hackers trying to steal vaccine research. The U.S., Canadian and British governments all made the allegations.
Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) reported
they were more than 95% positive that APT29, also known as The Dukes or Cozy Bear, was behind the attacks and are part of Russian intelligence services.
The vaccine product for Russia was developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow. According to reports, it leverages two strains of adenovirus, which usually causes mild colds in people. Other programs are also using modified adenoviruses. They are typically genetically modified to infect cells than make those cells manufacture spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2, the novel virus that causes COVID-
It was reported that Gamaleya Institute has tested its vaccine on military personnel. This brings into question ethical questions about consent, although the Russian defense ministry said they all volunteered. The Gamaleya Institute’s director, Aleksandr Gintsberg, announced on television in May that he had been dosed by the vaccine before announcing the completion of monkey trials.
Chairman of risk consulting firm Eurasia Group, Cliff Kupchan, told media,
“There is an escalation in the geopolitics of vaccine research. But what remains of the vast scientific complex of the Soviet period is a shadow of what it was.”
To date late-stage vaccine trials have begun around the world by Moderna, Pfizer and BioNTech, SinoVac in China, SinoPharm in China, and AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
It should also be noted that despite a lot of noise from China in June about their vaccine trials, there has been very little media announcements to date since then about the progress.
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