DURBAN – The ‘world’s first Coronavirus vaccine’, discovered in Russia has received mixed reactions around the world.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his country has developed a vaccine that has passed all the required checks and his daughter had already been given it.
Danny Altmann, Professor of Immunology at Imperial College London, told CNN that the bar is necessarily set very high for criteria that must be satisfied for approval after Phase 3 clinical trials.
“The collateral damage from the release of any vaccine that was less than safe and effective would exacerbate our current problems insurmountably. I hope these criteria have been followed. We are all in this together,” said Altmann.
Amid fears that safety could have been compromised, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was in talks with Russian authorities about undertaking a review of the vaccine, which has been named Sputnik-V. The vaccine is not among the organisation’s list of six vaccines that have reached phase three clinical trials, which involve more widespread testing in humans.
During an online press briefing WHO spokesperson, Tarik Jasarevic said: “Pre-qualification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all the required safety and efficacy data. We are in close contact with the Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO pre-qualification of the vaccine.”
Over 20 countries, including India, have expressed their interest in the vaccine, according to Kirill Dmitriev, head of the country’s Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) sovereign wealth fund and the main investor in the vaccine’s development.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has also offered to personally participate in trials of a new coronavirus vaccine which has been granted regulatory approval in Russia.
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