In the mad rush to assert dominance, Russia is often first to the fray with an unproven development. During the space race, this was the case with the 1957 Sputnik satellite, the first manmade satellite successfully put into orbit around the Earth. From there, the massive country has surged into developments on large and small cars, electronics and even medicine.
Now, Russian President Vladimir Putin is claiming that Russia is the first country to have developed a working COVID-19 vaccine. Questions linger about the safety of the vaccine, however, which has yet to enter stage-three trials. Putin claims that his own daughter has been administered the vaccine. The vaccine, named the Sputnik-V, was the result of a massive push by Putin and the Kremlin to portray Russia as a scientific superpower.
Putin Announces Vaccine
During a broadcast on Russian state-run TV, Putin announced the breakthrough. “A vaccine against coronavirus has been registered for the first time in the world this morning. I know that it works quite effectively, it forms a stable immunity.”
The Gamaleya Institute in Moscow created the vaccine. It is the product of nonstop work since the virus was identified. The institute has claimed that numerous countries, primarily in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, have expressed interest in the vaccine. They also note that many American companies have reached out to them with interest in the vaccine.
However, some in the international community are unconvinced that the vaccine is safe yet. This is because it has not yet undergone phase-three trials, which involve testing around one thousand participants and recording their response to the vaccine.
Vaccines can be dangerous if they’re improperly made. A failed vaccine could simply infect the patient with the disease it’s trying to protect against. Other unforeseen side effects could develop due to the vaccine’s composition. It’s vital that researchers eliminate any such side effects before rolling a vaccine out to the public.
According to the WHO, 25 vaccines for COVID are currently in the clinical observation step. Two notable vaccines, one from Moderna and one from Oxford, are in Phase Three of their testing. The medical community has noted that these two vaccines show promise, as they have published their safety data, unlike the Russian researchers.
Many countries still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic are scrambling to address the public health crisis. People in those countries will likely be eager to see a tested vaccine arrive to help end the pandemic.