01/5Need to check if Russian COVID vaccine is safe and effective; India has the capacity for mass production: AIIMS director Randeep Guleria

Need to check if Russian COVID vaccine is safe and effective; India has the capacity for mass production: AIIMS director Randeep Guleria

After Russia became the first country in the world to register a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, experts around the world are sceptical over the safety of the Russian vaccine, which has been given the go-ahead for public use after less than two months of human trials. The Russian vaccine, dubbed “Sputnik V” is a joint effort between Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute and Russia Defence ministry. Experts believe that Russia may have cut corners in producing ‘the world’s first COVID vaccine’ as it has been approved for the public use before completing the crucial last stage human trials.

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02/5Need to access the safety of Russia’s COVID vaccine as India has the capacity for mass production: AIIMS director

Need to access the safety of Russia’s COVID vaccine as India has the capacity for mass production: AIIMS director

While Russia may have become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approvals toits COVID-19 vaccine, the accelerated rate at which the vaccine has been developed has been raising eyebrows. Dr Randeep Guleria, the director of All India Institute for Medical Sciences echoed similar sentiments. He underlined that it is crucial to check the safety and efficacy of the Russian vaccine candidate. He also said that India has the capacity for mass production of the vaccine.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Dr Guleria said, “If Russia’s vaccine is successful, then we will have to see critically whether it is safe and effective. There should not be any side effects of the vaccine and it should provide good immunity and protection. India has the capacity for mass production of the vaccine.

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03/5​How will the Russian vaccine work?

​How will the Russian vaccine work?

The vaccine developed by Russia is adenovirus-based viral vector vaccine, which is a common cold virus. The vaccine makes use of weakened particles of the novel coronavirus (the spike protein) to kickstart the body’s immune system response against the infectious contagion. According to Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya National Research Centre “the coronavirus particles in the vaccine cannot harm the body as they cannot multiply.”

The jab will be given in two doses to stimulate an immune system response against the novel coronavirus. According to media reports, Russia is planning mass-immunization in the month of October, after inoculating medical personals and teachers.

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04/5​What are the results of Phase I trials of Russia’s COVID vaccine

​What are the results of Phase I trials of Russia’s COVID vaccine

In addition to the fact that Russia hasn’t published any documents or research papers of its vaccine trials, the country has only shared the results of its successful completion of Phase I trials with the public. The phase I clinical trials of ‘Sputnik V’ had started on June 17, where 76 volunteers were dosed with the vaccine candidate. As per Russian experts, it was found that volunteers who were injected with the vaccine developed protective immunity against the novel coronavirus on the 21st day and the immunity doubled after they received the second dose.

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05/5​The lack of clarity over clinical trials of Russian COVID vaccine

​The lack of clarity over clinical trials of Russian COVID vaccine

While media reports cite that Phase II clinical trials of Russia’s vaccine had begun on July 13, the country stunned everyone on August 3, 2020, after it reported that it is developing “world’s first coronavirus vaccine‘ after completing clinical trials. Interestingly, Russia did not give any clarity over which phase of clinical trials it had completed. Reports are also doing rounds that Phase III (the most crucial part of clinical trials) human trials in Russia will be conducted after the jab is given regulatory approvals.

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