Russia is offering to aid the US with their recently approved vaccine under the Operation Warp Speed that the health agencies of America imposed to ensure priority in obtaining Covid-19 vaccines and medications to combat the increasing number of cases in the country.
However, the US turned down the offer.
There is a brewing tension between the Russian and American nation and is creating a cloud of wariness that drives the US to cease usage of Russian products. The US Department of Defense will even stop using the Atlas 5 rocket of the ULA that is powered by a Russian-made engine for its future space missions. The anti-satellite weapon that Russia launched into space may have also been a contributing factor.
The Russian vaccine, Sputnik 5, did not undergo Phase 3 clinical trials but was quickly given approval for mass production and distribution. American vaccines that have begun trials way before Russia are still undergoing their final phases. The US FDA is strict on the granting of approval to vaccines and medicines especially ones that are being used against the Coronavirus. Even with the urgent need, sufficient evidence is still required from research firms.
The quick approval of the Russian vaccine spiked controversies and warnings from health experts.
America is not even slightly interested in being guinea pigs for the “half-baked” vaccine, and that it will not allow for it to be given even to monkeys, says a US public health officer.
Apparently, information on the vaccine formulation is something that Russia is willing to share and allow reproduction in their respective US-based laboratories. In fact, few US pharmaceutical firms have shown interest already.
Russia keeps on encouraging the US government to take a chance on their vaccine and not let political disagreements hinder an opportunity that could save lives. Around 20 countries around Latin America, Middle East, and Asia are considering the offer. Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines, has great trust in the vaccine that he vows to be the first one to take the vaccine.
No third-party review can be done on the Russian vaccine due to the fact that there have been no public releases on the findings of the study. The government already allowed mass manufacturing of the drug before a large-scale crucial trial of safety and effectiveness was even conducted. This move garnered the impression that the Russian government was not taking clinical trials seriously and is only doing it to gain an advantage. China is, even more, abiding on the due process of vaccine development.
There is still a lot of doubt surrounding the possible effects of the vaccine on a broader range of people and. Phase 1 trials were done on 40 military personnel in mid-July, but then again, the results were unknown. After Russia was accused of theft of vaccine research data, tension grew. But then Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russian Direct Investment Fund by the government, said that AstraZeneca PLC and one of Russia’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, RPharm, came to an agreement of turning over research technology and materials of the AZN vaccine to be reproduced in Russia.
Russia has more than 913,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases with an encouraging 723,000 recoveries.