New Delhi: After the scientist fraternity across the world criticised Russia for announcing its vaccine without conducting any advanced trials, which generally involve tens of thousands of people, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin appealed to Moscow residents to take part in trials, which will begin soon. He said the post-registration research will last six months and involve 40,000 people. Also Read - Sputnik V: World's First COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available to Public in Russia, Claim Reports
Announcing Sputnik, the vaccine’s approval on August 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin said one of his two adult daughters already had been inoculated with it. No side effect was reported, apart from slight fever. Also Read - Sputnik V: Trials For Russian Coronavirus Vaccine May Begin in India in Upcoming Weeks
The scientific fraternity, as well as the World Health Organisation, has no detailed information about Sputnik, which was developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow with assistance from Russia’s Defense Ministry. It uses a different virus — the common cold-causing adenovirus — that’s been modified to carry genes for the spike protein that coats the coronavirus, as a way to prime the body to recognise if a real COVID-19 infection comes along. This same technology is being used by China’s CanSino Biologics and Britain’s Oxford University and AstraZeneca. Also Read - National Security Advisors of BRICS Nations to Hold Virtual Meeting on Thursday
But Russia did not make it public whether Sputnik has been tested on animals or a group of people. Moscow mayor Sobyanin has said that the vaccine is safe and it underwent several necessary tests. The vaccine will prove immunity for up to two years, it has been claimed.
As of Wednesday, Russia had reported a total of over 970,000 confirmed virus cases and 16,683 deaths. Russian officials have said the vaccine would initially be made available to high-risk groups, including medical workers and teachers before it comes to broad use.