It was around a couple of days back that Russian president Vladimir Putin announced the successful development of a vaccine against coronavirus. Russia also named the vaccine Sputnik V, after the Soviet satellite that proclaimed the fame of the nation in front of the general public. Putin also claimed to have given a vaccine shot to his daughter, and later she apparently developed a high number of antibodies against coronavirus. But now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has claimed that the vaccine developed by Russia is not among the nine that it considers in the advanced stages of testing.
Is Russia's Sputnik vaccine useless?
Dr Bruce Aylward, a senior adviser to WHO's director-general, revealed that they do not have sufficient information regarding Russia's coronavirus vaccine, and it makes it impossible to judge its effectiveness.
"We don't have sufficient information at this point to make a judgment. We're currently in conversation with Russia to get additional information to understand the status of that product, the trials that have been undertaken, and then what the next steps might be," said Aylward in a recent statement.
In the meantime, several medical experts have started criticizing the accelerated rate at which Russia has developed the coronavirus vaccine. Vas Narasimhan, Chief Executive Officer of pharmaceutical giant Novartis had recently revealed that sufficient time should be invested to know the effect of any vaccine that is being used against coronavirus.
"I think what's realistic to expect is that with a combination of drugs and vaccines we can get to a stable place where the pandemic is manageable. The longer you wait, the more knowledge you're going to have on the vaccine. With reasonable confidence, we could have a safe and effective vaccine before the end of next year that could be used broadly," said Narasimhan, during an event hosted by Bloomberg Prognosis.
Is Russia violating medical ethics?
As per the latest updates, Russia's top respiratory doctor Professor Alexander Chuchalin has apparently quit the Russian health ministry citing violations of medical ethics the country followed to develop Sputnik V.
On safety grounds, professor Alexander tried his best to block the registration of the world's first coronavirus vaccine, as Russia calls it. As Alexander failed in his attempts, he quit the ethics council of the Russian health ministry.