....for "final in-field testing" on the entire Russian population. "Volunteers only" at least.
Tried it on his daughter first.
Putin being Putin as usual.
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Ideology: Australian Liberalism
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Five months into the pandemic, Russia's first Covid-19 vaccine is in its final development stages, already proven safe. Decades of research – not spying on foreign know-how – led to the breakthrough, a top scientist told RT.
Like their colleagues in the world's other leading nations, Russian scientists have traveled a bumpy road from the discovery of coronavirus to the development of a promising vaccine in record time.
This month, Moscow's famed Sechenov University announced that the first phase of clinical trials for a vaccine had been a success. Some 38 volunteers who took part in human trials have been released with little or no side effects recorded.
Researchers will now push forward, testing the vaccine's efficiency, and prepping it for registration with the Health Ministry. Other prototypes are to follow, with some about to finish phase-one trials – which usually demonstrates the new vaccine's safety for use in humans.
It's fairly easy to grasp why Russia is so keen to get a Covid-19 vaccine. Having reported more than 811,000 cases and 13,249 fatalities, it is among the five countries worst affected by the epidemic. But how did it make a vaccine so fast, given that the coronavirus – or its deadly, crown-shaped SARS-CoV-2 strain – wasn't known to scientists before 2020?
'Nothing can be done from scratch'
Russia has over 20 years of experience in developing technology for producing vaccines. This helped to create the unique Covid-19 vaccine in a very short period of time by normal drug-development standards, Vadim Tarasov, head of Sechenov University's Institute for Translational Medicine and Biotechnology, told RT Arabic in a comprehensive interview.
"Nothing can be done from scratch," he explained. Virologists at the Sechenov Institute and the Gamalei Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology – another coronavirus research hub in Moscow – benefited from that "huge backlog" to decode the genome and structure of Covid-19 and quickly create a vaccine prototype.
The technology behind the Russian vaccine in question is based upon adenovirus, the common cold. Created artificially, the vaccine proteins replicate those of Covid-19 and trigger "an immune response similar to that caused by the coronavirus itself," Tarasov revealed.
In other words, getting immunized is slightly similar to having survived the coronavirus, but without its life-threatening risks. The vaccine, of course, won't be a magical wand preventing everyone from getting sick. It may not stop the entire spread of coronavirus, but will make the symptoms much milder.
Tarasov said the 38 volunteers received the tested vaccine in the form of a standard injection in the shoulder – "a standard procedure, not very painful, which many people go through – therefore, there is nothing terrible here and nothing fundamentally new."
Russia may claim a breakthrough, but isn't into scoring profit out of it
The vaccine, tested on volunteers aged between 18 and 60, has shown good results "in terms of tolerance," Tarasov revealed. Hence, phase-one trials "have clearly shown that this vaccine is safe and can be used." For the scientist, this was a huge leap in their enormous scientific effort.
Russian researchers have now proceeded to phase-two trials, which will test the vaccine's efficacy and dosing. Other nations using the same technology are also progressing, with the UK, China, Japan, and the US being the notable other frontrunners.
While their respective health officials insist the preventive cure will become a common public good, there's room for ambition and prestige in the undeclared race to unveil the world's first coronavirus vaccine.
An announcement by Russia on Tuesday that it will approve a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing prompted alarm among global health experts, who said that with no full trial data, the vaccine is hard to trust.
Intent on being first in the global race to develop a vaccine against the pandemic disease, Russia has yet to conduct large-scale trials of the shot that would produce data to show whether it works - something immunologists and infectious disease experts say could be a “reckless” step.
“Russia is essentially conducting a large population level experiment,” said Ayfer Ali, a specialist in drug research at Britain’s Warwick Business School.
She said such a super-fast approval could mean that potential adverse effects of a vaccine may not be picked up. These, while likely to be rare, could be serious, she warned.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had been administered to one of his daughters.
“I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks,” Putin said on state television.
Francois Balloux, an expert at University College London’s Genetics Institute, said it was “a reckless and foolish decision”.
“Mass vaccination with an improperly tested vaccine is unethical,” he said. “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.”
His comments were echoed by Danny Altmann, a professor of Immunology at Imperial College London, who said the “collateral damage” from deploying any vaccine that is not yet known to be safe and effective “would exacerbate our current problems insurmountably”.
Even as Russia declared victory, more than half a dozen drugmakers around the world are in the process of conducting large-scale, advanced human trials of their potential COVID-19 vaccines, each with tens of thousands of volunteer participants.
Several of these frontrunners, including Moderna (MRNA.O), Pfizer (PFE.N) and AstraZeneca (AZN.L), say they hope to know if their vaccines work and are safe by the end of this year.
All are expected to publish their trial results and safety data and submit them to regulators in the United States, Europe and elsewhere for scrutiny before any licence could be granted.
The Russian vaccine’s approval by the Health Ministry comes before trials that would normally involve thousands of participants, commonly known as a Phase III trial. Such trials are usually considered essential precursors for a vaccine to secure regulatory approval.
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”.
“Normally you need a large number of people to be tested before you approve a vaccine,” he said. “I think it’s reckless to do that if lots of people haven’t already been tested.”
According to the vaccine’s Russian-language registration certificate, all 38 participants who received one or two doses of the vaccine had produced antibodies against SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein, including potent neutralizing antibodies that inactivate viral particles. These findings are similar to results of early-stage trials of other candidate vaccines. Side effects were also similar, such as fever, headache and skin irritation at the site of injection.
Hotez expects that the Gamaleya vaccine will elicit a decent immune response against SARS-CoV-2. “The technical feat of developing a COVID19 vaccine is not very complicated,” he says. “The hard part is producing these vaccines under quality umbrellas — quality control and quality assurance — and then assuring the vaccines are safe and actually work to protect against COVID19 in large phase III clinical trials.”
Politics_Observer wrote:I would be vary wary of anybody taking that vaccine that Russia developed. I also wonder how much of that vaccine was stolen from the U.S. given news reports of Russian hackers hacking American work on the vaccine a week or two prior to this announcement.
Rugoz wrote:So they've tested it on 38 (!) people and have not even published the results. What a joke. Putin only cares about his KGB propaganda. Russia is such a pathetic country at this point.
Rugoz wrote:I don't feel hatred. If I were Russian and a patriot I would, towards Putin and co., for turning the country into a joke.
annatar1914 wrote:There are many shades of political opinion in Russia. But most can agree that President Putin, even if they disagree with him he's still seen as a Russian patriot. Likewise, while any nation has problems, Russia is hardly a ''joke'', especially considering the traitors and thieves who almost destroyed the country in the 1990's.
annatar1914 wrote:And you don't have to passionately ''feel hatred'' to be a hater. When you look upon a people as subhuman, or like a pathogen, one can look on them with a dispassionate cold-eyed hatred that sees them as a problem to be disposed of, standing in the way of what one considers ''progress''...
That's because for you grandstanding on the international stage is a sign for a country's greatness, while I have completely different criteria. Needless to say unleashing an untested vaccine on the population isn't one of it.
Unthinking Majority wrote:Only person in the world that lies more than Trump is Putin.
Get used to feeling bad about politics for a long time to come.
Godstud wrote:I hope it's real, and it works.
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