Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the development of Sputnik-V (Covid 19 vaccine), the first ever effective vaccine of Coronavirus on a national television, on 11th August, 2020. The vaccine developed by Moscow based Gamaleya Research Institute and has already been registered officially. According to the commentary of President Putin, this vaccine is completely safe for human body and about 20 countries have already showed interest in this vaccine. Putin said, one of his daughters had tested the vaccine on herself while she was unwell and after taking it she is feeling well.
“Our vaccine has proven to be effective. It can form a stable immunity system. We must express gratitude to the people who have been able to develop the first ever effective vaccine. As it is very important for people of our country and the cosmopolitan”
In this current Covid 19 pandemic, people have been waiting for a vaccine for the last 8 months. It’s a question from both general people and specialists, when will we get an effective and safe vaccine? The scientists of the U.S, England, China, and Russia are working with this aim. Where China and the U.S have been working for a long time now, Russia is comparatively late in this trial. But the success of the vaccine of Russia has astonished everyone.
Even though the news of the vaccine is remarkable, but the scientists are not able to be hopeful about it. Because they doubt, Russia is working on it more like a political issue rather than a scientific analysis. Russia is concentrating on how they can be ahead of other nations instead of concentrating on the indemnity of the vaccine.
Understanding how the vaccine will work
The Covid 19 vaccine developed by Russia has been named “Sputnik-V” or “Sputnik-5”. It is being compared with the first satellite of the world “Sputnik”. Satellite Sputnik was launched in 1957, during the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union. Just like this satellite, this vaccine is being showcased as a success to the Russians.
Two vector viruses have been used in Sputnik-V vaccine. Vector is a kind of virus from which a specific gene (capable of reproduction) is removed. A gene portion of the virus is added to the vector viruses. Then the vaccine is injected into the human body.
Adeno virus has been used as vector virus in Sputnik-V. Adeno virus usually causes respiratory infections. ‘S protein’ creates the spike of SARS Cov 2 virus which causes Coronavirus. This very ‘S protein’ is injected into the Adeno vector viruses. Then, this Adeno virus is inserted into human body. It starts to produce S proteins in the body and body creates immunity against this.
After 21 days, another Adeno vector virus is inserted into the body. It creates more stable, long term immunity system. Gamaleya Research Institute claimed that, this virus is completely safe for human body and it can form an effective immune system.
Why concerns on the Russia Covid 19 vaccine have been raised by experts?
Even though, Russia had claimed to produce an effective vaccine for Coronavirus, the experts are not granting it, because Russia hasn’t provided any scientific analysis regarding this vaccine. Everyone needs to rely on the words of President Putin. That’s why, experts aren’t hundred percent assured about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. Further, it hasn’t been tested on too many people.
China and the U.S both are in the 3rd phase of trial process. But even before stepping into the 3rd phase, Russia has already claimed their vaccine to be successful. But, the World Health Organization (WHO) has placed it on Phase 1. Where the U.S is running the trial on 3000 people in phase 3, Russia has only tested it on 76 health workers.
This trial process on health workers started on 17th June, 2020. Half of the health workers were given the liquid form of the vaccine, and the other half had the soluble powder version. Some health workers of the first group were from the army. Many people doubt that, they were brought forcefully in the trial by the government.
Some health workers and researchers have also tested the vaccine on their body, which is not permissible in the modern science. This vaccine has inserted only in the body of healthy people. There is no proof, whether it has been injected into the body of Coronavirus patients. That’s why, the risks remains. People are suspicious about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.
Presently, Covid 19 vaccine is not restricted only to the medical science sector. Now, it’s playing a vital role in the world politics. Whichever country brings the vaccine in the market first, will sit on the driver’s seat. Russia, China and the U.S are on the race to become the first nation ever to produce an effective vaccine. That’s why; their aim is to hit the market at the earliest.
Russia is claiming their vaccine to be successful at an immature stage. That’s why this vaccine poses threat to the millions of people infected with Covid 19. This step of Russia will put other countries in political pressure. If they also start to walk on the same path as Russia, it will be a great risk to the health of civilians.
Last month, the U.S, Canada, the United Kingdom complained that, the hackers of Russia are trying to steal information about Coronavirus vaccine from their database. Though, Russia has denied every allegation. They demanded that, they are already ahead of other countries in vaccine research. There is no need for them to steal information from others.
President Putin is under pressure in this year. Along with the number of infected patients, the number of death is also increasing in Russia. His popularity has also decreased. By producing the vaccine at first, he wants to keep his fame intact in both internal and international community. He claimed that, his daughter had also tested this vaccine. But there is no information about him being a part of this trial.
Russia said that, they already got the order of 1 billion vaccines from 20 countries throughout the world. They are preparing their vaccine makers to produce 500 million vaccines every year. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte says, he’ll be a Russia vaccine ‘Guinea Pig’.
Time will say, whether Russian Coronavirus vaccine will be effective or not. But it is dangerous to use it on millions of infected people. Earlier this, President Putin had claimed about the effectiveness of two Ebola virus vaccines in Africa. But there wasn’t any evidence of this. In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) registered these two vaccines as “Candidate Vaccine”.