Russia announced on Tuesday that they have developed a vaccine against the corona virus and President Vladimir Putin said that, his own daughter has received that vaccine. But tests are yet to be completed. The race to find an effective vaccine, more than 20 vaccine are in trials around the world. That has global implications, not just for the health of billions of people, but potential billions in revenue for the successful developer and manufacturer. Russian officials in Moscow tell that they have offered “unprecedented cooperation” with Operation Wrap Seed, the US multi agency body set up to accelerate access to effective Covid-19 vaccines and treatment. But the officials told that “US is not currently open” to the Russian medical advances. one senior citizen says that “there is a general sense of mistrust of Russia on the American side and we believe that technologies, including vaccines, testing and treatments are not being adopted in US because of the mistrust”.
The vaccine was approved by the Russian government before beginning crucial phase 3trials in which it would be administrated to thousands of people. Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announced earlier this week that phase 3 trials of the vaccine would start this past Wednesday in Russia. Russia has not released any scientific data on its testing and CNN is unable to verify the vaccine’s claimed safety or effectiveness. A senior US officials and an advisor to the US government tell CNN that there are no procured samples of the newly announced Russia Covid-19 vaccine in the possession of the US government. The government advisor said that ” they have enough disease now in Russia that they could conduct clinical trials but they don’t appear to have done at a large enough scale.”
Russia enacted a law in April which eliminated the requirement for crucial phase 3 trials to be conducted before approval. This has allowed researchers to fast track the vaccine development process. The senior US officials says that ” there’s all of this discussion about Emergency Use Authorization, in case of a pandemic, there are a number of points where you could make a judgement to say the potential benefits of this vaccine outweigh the risks, so we give it the authorization to approve quickly, that what Russia just did. Its the October surprise we all fear.”
The Russia’s corona virus vaccine will be gradually rolled out to high risk people before a mass vaccination of Russians begins in October. A former US administration official called the Russian vaccine “a joke”, adding that Russia did not complete the three phases of testing and no one, not even the WHO or the US is taking too seriously. The source also continued that Chine is much closer to winning the vaccine race. The American sources noted that they believe the only reason Russia is doing this is for leverage, mostly in the hope of exchanging it for strategic assets. Putin, like Trump, is under significant pressure to demonstrate formidable efforts to defeat the virus. One former official said that, “no one will dare question Putin, and Russian standards for efficacy don’t match those of the US.”
Russia officials says that they are ready to share the information about the vaccine and that would allow US pharmaceutical companies to produce the Russian vaccine on American soil. Following the rebuffs of the UN , the Russian sources say Washington should seriously consider adopting the vaccine. One senior Russian official says that “if our vaccine proves to be one of the best and most effective , questions will be asked why the US did not explore this option any deeper, why politics got in way of access to vaccine.”
Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said in a news conference on Tuesday that at least 20 countries in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia have expressed interest in the vaccine. Notably, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte says he has so much confidence in the vaccine that he will take it when it arrives in his country, and Mexico’s foreign minister said on Thursday morning that Mexico is in talks with the Russia about this vaccine.