Russia’s soon to be launched Covid-19 vaccine: Exactly how reliable without the final clinical trial?

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Dr. Shuvomoy Banerjee, PhD, from Neucrad Health Desk, August 4, 2020

Researchers and Scientists from all over the world are tirelessly involved in the research of developing vaccines against SARS-Cov2 virus right now. During this time ‘Bloomberg News’ has reported that Russia is going to launch world’s first officially approved novel coronavirus vaccine for human use by 10th-12th of this month i.e. August 2020!

As more than 800,000 people in Russia are currently infected with Covid-19, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Assistant Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova have made the remarks at a televised official meeting that a joint venture between Gamaleya Institute of Moscow and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is set to launch their vaccine against Covid-19 on “Conditional Registration”. However, it is important and interesting to note that the vaccine is going to be conditionally registered as because it has not completed the Phase-III clinical trials! 

The concerns that arise in such situations are:

  1. Although vaccines against this pandemic are urgently required, how safe they actually might be without proper clinical trials?
  2. How much risk may come along with such vaccines?
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Russia’s Health Minister Mikhail Murashko further said in a statement that their developed Covid-19 vaccine would reach health professionals primarily before final clinical trials and then later parts of the world. Scientific communities from various countries are raising questions about the so much of rush to bring this vaccine in the market. Of note, the to-be launched Covid-19 vaccine by Russia has completed its Phase-II trial on military volunteers but their result data has neither been released nor been published in any media news or Research journals!

RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev stated that Russia would be at the forefront of Covid-19 vaccine development just like the case of first Sputnik! If sources are to be believed, there is a lot of pressure on the Russian researchers and scientists to complete and launch this vaccine!

Noteworthy, the lives of millions of people depend on the safe, effective and appropriate vaccine candidate. Proper and essential clinical trials, rigorous scientific research should be given a priority to judge the candidacy of such vaccines. As, the Gamaleya Institute has promised to begin its due Phase-III trials in Russia as well as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates soon, we can just hope that vaccine to be launched doesn’t become any risk to the community and it’s not just about any competition about who launches first!

References:

  1. Chen WH, Strych U, Hotez PJ, Bottazzi ME. The SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Pipeline: an Overview [published online ahead of print, 2020 Mar 3]. Curr Trop Med Rep. 2020;1-4. doi:10.1007/s40475-020-00201-6
  2. Iwasaki A, Yang Y. The potential danger of suboptimal antibody responses in COVID-19. Nat Rev Immunol. 2020;20(6):339-341. doi:10.1038/s41577-020-0321-6
  3. Jiang S. Don’t rush to deploy COVID-19 vaccines and drugs without sufficient safety guarantees. Nature. 2020;579(7799):321. doi:10.1038/d41586-020-00751-9
  4. Tu YF, Chien CS, Yarmishyn AA, et al. A Review of SARS-CoV-2 and the Ongoing Clinical Trials. Int J Mol Sci. 2020;21(7):2657. Published 2020 Apr 10. doi:10.3390/ijms21072657
  5. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-01/russia-plans-to-roll-out-mass-covid-19-vaccinations-from-october
  6. https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-seeks-to-register-first-coronavirus-vaccine-in-august-11596047326
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