Russia has become the first country in the world to Produce Covid-19 Vaccine. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Vaccine has received regulatory approval from country’s health ministry, The vaccine has been developed by Moscow’s Gamalia Institute, In a Press conference Putin explained that the vaccine forms stable immunity and passes all necessary safety checks, Vaccine has a more specific effect, it forms stable anti-body and cell-mediated immune response, President Putin also confirmed that one of his daughters has actually received the vaccine, After getting the first injection of the vaccine her body temperature was 38 degree (Celcius), the next day it got lowered to 37 degrees (Celcius), After the second injection, her temperature rose a little but then it returned to normal she feels completely well.
Russia has announced they will start administering the vaccine in days despite heavy criticism that it hasn’t been properly tested, The vaccine is said to be based on the same technology that helped them previously create an Ebola vaccine and it will initially go to all the key workers like teachers and medics first , despite President Putin’s claims that the vaccine has passed all necessary safety checks , many scientists in Russia as well as from other countries are very concerned over what they see is a hasty approach with just a small number of study volunteers, Russia essentially declaring victory before finishing its final stage 3 trial.
The vaccine seems to be tested on couple hundred of patients, it is a adenoviral vector vaccine so it is based on a viral vector that is being used to deliver the gene sequence that codes for the epitope in this case the spike protein that we want to elicit immunity against, so it is not a trivial vaccine in terms of technical complexity that goes into manufacturing a vaccine.
The Chinese company Cancino was also developing an adenoviral vector vaccine which is in clinical trails in Canada and the early data on that vaccine is not that encouraging.
A lot of people have antibodies to the viral vector itself and so they effectively neutralize the viral vector because it is based on a common cold, the virus that was being used to deliver the gene sequence in this case, there is still doubt if the Russian vaccine has some prior immunity to the adenovirus which they are using to deliver the coronavirus gene sequence.
The WHO (World health Organization) officials are in touch with Russian health authorities with discussions ongoing with respect to WHO prequalification of the vaccine which will require regress review and full assessment of the vaccine with regards to safety.
Paul Offit (Director – Vaccine Education center) has said that, “In US we would demand a much bigger trail to be confident that the vaccine is safe in the sense that it did not have any uncommon side effect and at least effective to some extent in the short term.
Whereas University of oxford, companies like Moderna and Pfizer are moving forward with their Phase 3 trials with at least 30,000 volunteers, US health experts are optimistic that the vaccine will show to be effective in trials and authorized by the FDA within months possibly as soon as the end of the year.
US Operation Warp Speed, which is initiated by the federal government to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of Covid-19 vaccine is putting billions of dollars, US regulators have already made it clear that there will be no corners cut when it comes to testing making it safe to take and this certainly makes a key difference between what America is doing and what the Russians announced today.