Russia announced that it will approve a vaccine for COVID-19. A statement that was not very approved among the experts around the globe, as the vaccine was tested on humans for less than two months and there is not enough data for it to be trusted.
The experts say that Russia still needs to make large-scale trials of the vaccine in order to prove that it works without any consequences, despite the fact that the country races to be the first to develop a vaccine. The experts say that this could be a reckless step. Ayfer Ali, a specialist in drug research at Britain’s Warwick Business School said:
“Russia is essentially conducting a large population-level experiment.’’
She added that super-fast approval could mean that the potential effects of a vaccine may not be picked up. These, while likely to be rare, could be serious.
On the other hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the vaccine that was developed by the Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that one of his daughters received it.
“I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks,’’ said Putin.
“Mass vaccination with an improperly tested vaccine is unethical. Any problem with the Russian vaccination campaign would be disastrous both through its negative effects on health, but also because it would further set back the acceptance of vaccines in the population,’’ said Francois Balloux, an expert at University College London’s Genetic Institute.
Peter Kremsner, an expert at Germany’s University Hospital in Tuebingen who is working on clinical trials of a vaccine candidate from CureVac, said Russia’s move was reckless, according to Reuters.
“Normally you need a large number of people to be tested before you approve a vaccine. I think it’s reckless to do that if lots of people haven’t already been tested,’’ said Kremsner.