Indore: Will have to wait and watch for Russian vaccine, say experts

Indore: While Russia has registered world’s first COVID-19 vaccine with pomp and show, experts have expressed their concern over the vaccine’s efficacy and sustainability. City experts believe that it is too early to comment over the efficiency of the vaccine and appealed to the authorities to wait for some time for the final results.

Doctors also backed the progress of Indian vaccine which is under development at Serum Institute of India and ICMR and said the Indian vaccine will be launched after all trials and no question will be remained unanswered over its efficacy.

“We should wait to see the results of the Russian vaccine and the speed of development of Indian vaccine is very good and it will be the most promising one,” doctors said.

Here are some excerpts:

“It is a great breakthrough that Russia has registered world’s first vaccine for COVID-19. However, it is too early to comment on its efficacy and we should wait for more studies and researches from Russia.”

- Dr Jyoti Bindal, Dean, MGM Medical College

“Indeed the news of first vaccine is relieving in these trying times of COVID-19 but Russia has not shared any of the trial results and directly jumped on to registering the vaccine. We wish that it would be efficient but we should wait for the results of the first ‘trial’ which they claimed as starting vaccination programme.”

- Dr Anita Mutha, HoD, Microbiology Department, MGM Medical College

“Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown confidence over the vaccine’s efficacy and given the first dose to his own daughter to let others believe the same. However, they are yet to disclose the trials done for it for they skipped the major phases. We should wait for the Indian vaccine as it is the final stage and soon it will be announced to launch. There might some political gain in announcing the vaccine so early by Russia.”

- Dr Hemant Dwivedi, District Immunization Officer

“Efficacy of the Russian vaccine would be proved only after 15 days of the first dose given to the people and how much antibodies develop in them. However, Russia has shown hope to fight against the deadly virus but they should clear all the doubts and reveal studies about the trials done.”

- Dr Satish Joshi, President, IMA-Indore

HOW THE VACCINE WORKS

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.

What are the results of Phase I trials

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.

FPJ View: Why is WHO not reacting to the Russian vaccine? Is it some kind of a lobby to wait for the Western world to deliver its vaccine? These questions will remain unanswered. Even as the world is reeling under the Covid pandemic, the arrival of a vaccine, that too form Russia and even as the first dose was given to President Putin’s daughter, the WHO should have shown more interest in this regard when the matter concerns the entire world. It may be noted that US President, Donald Trump, had said that earlier that even if Russia brought its vaccine, the US would not use it. Not fair enough. One wonders why the global leaders can afford to play games even in such crisis…

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