- Raj Uprety
The first batch of the Russian vaccine against the covid is ready. This news has brought mixed feelings all over the globe. The optimists are excited about the news whereas an equal number of scepticisms is hounding the Russian anti-covid vaccine – The Sputnik V. The vaccine is developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow in collaboration with the Russian Ministry of Defence and was granted approval on August 11.
Russian President Vladmir Putin has claimed that the vaccine displayed stable immunity and has successfully passed all the required tests. He moved a step further and announced that the vaccine was inoculated to one of his daughters with no serious side effects. The vaccine is supposed to be given in two doses, with a gap of 21 days in between. Although the vaccine is ready to roll out for the Russians after recent approval, global scale dissemination will start only by the end of this year.
To defend against the skepticism, as of how they developed the vaccine so early, they’ve said that their existing research on Ebola and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), helped to catalyse the efforts for production of corona virus vaccine. Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), says that MERS and corona virus are similar in their genetic constitution, so it is their fortune that their prior development of a ready-to-go vaccine on MERS, with slight modification helped to develop the vaccine for the novel corona virus. Additionally, Russia has passed a law in April 2020, stating that the vaccine can be distributed to the public during which phase 3 trials are underway.
Regarding the effectiveness of the new vaccine, Russian administration has claimed that the vaccine is promisingly safe and highly efficient, thereby bestowing the administered subject with two years of immunity to covid-19.
So, is The Sputnik V the first or too fast? We don’t really know. The proponents and sceptics have their own opinions. Maybe we’ll come to know more about it, once it is mass vaccinated in Russia, starting end of August. When will the world, and of course our country Nepal, receive the vaccine? Well, it is subjected to various factors and most probably not before January 2021.
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