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Opinion: Is the Russian Sputnik V, to be used in other countries, really safe?

Mon, 05.07.2021 23:17



With the onset of the summer of 2021 and contrary to the expectations of optimists, the COVID-19 pandemic has not receded and continues to keep governments, doctors, scientists and ordinary citizens all over the world in suspense.

The measures taken by the authorities of different countries in an attempt to prevent the collapse of health systems differ in their severity and effectiveness, but in general the crisis has affected the vast majority of people. Fear and ignorance, lack of confidence in the future against the backdrop of growing economic problems and gloomy statistics on the incidence of COVID-19 infection – this is just a short list of the challenges that the population of many countries had to face.

Now in Argentina, Algeria, Palestine, Venezuela, Paraguay, Turkmenistan, Tunisia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Mongolia, Syria, Egypt, Honduras, Republic of Congo, Iraq and Morocco, many vaccines have already been registered, from the Chines ones to the American Pfizer… And if everything is more or less known about many vaccines, so what about so much-praised Russian Sputnik V. The RF wants to arrange its production in these countries.

For more than a year, Russian media have been trumpeting that the Sputnik V vaccine is the best in the world, there are dozens of countries waiting in line for it, and Russia has created a true miracle, not a drug. Despite Moscow's loud statements about the success of the Russian vaccine and the “incredible interest” of the whole world in Sputnik V, the Russians are in no hurry to vaccinate themselves or their relatives.

Illustrative here is the example of the Russian journalist Dariya Aslamova, who in her publications and speeches at the beginning of the year actively praised the Russian vaccine and criticized Europe for refusing it, but when it came time to vaccinate her daughter (public sector employees are subject to forced vaccination due to another Coronavirus outbreak in Russia), she threw a tantrum on her Facebook page and LiveJournal in Telegram. She outraged that her daughter was forced to be vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik V, claiming that after it, she nearly went crazy and saw hallucinations. At the same time, she claims that this is a mockery and casts doubt on the possibility of her daughter giving birth in the future. Dariya Aslamova herself, who is also a Croatian citizen, was vaccinated outside Russia by the American Pfizer's vaccine.

Even Russian doctors do not trust Sputnik V. They refuse to get vaccinated. This is evidenced by the results of the survey by “Doctor's Handbook”. According to the “Takie Dela” source, a third of Russian doctors – 34 % – are not ready to be vaccinated, despite the worsening situation with the spread of infection. According to Russian epidemiologist Vasily Vlasov, this is not surprising, given that there are “unwritten laws” for Russian doctors, according to which they are prohibited from registering side effects after being vaccinated with Russian drugs. According to doctors, there is a ban on the registration of side effects from vaccination. “Probably everyone knows that any side effects from the Sputnik V vaccine are not registered, since there is a ban on it. Naturally, this is a verbal prohibition. There is no order or law that prohibits registering side effects,” says Vlasov.

While downplaying the statistics on victims and deaths from this vaccine, but focusing on the victims of vaccines produced in other countries, using propaganda, bribery, information scandals and terror against all those who doubt the quality of the Russian vaccine, the RF managed to create the image of Sputnik V as the “safest” and “most effective” vaccine among others. At the same time, the Russian authorities, as it turned out, are looking for opportunities to secretly purchase lots of Pfizer’s vaccine, continuing to hypocrite on their social platforms about the indispensability of Sputnik V. At the same time, they are silent about the fact that as of today the Russian vaccine has not passed the third most important stage of clinical trials and registered urgently only in Russia. This is a matter of concern even for Russian scientists, who have repeatedly stated that “poor methodological quality”, defects in trial design, errors in data analysis, poor research descriptions cast doubt on the main conclusions about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

It should be noted that despite Moscow's desperate attempts to achieve international recognition for Sputnik V since January this year, both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have denied registration, and the prospects for its approval remain dim. Citizens of Arab countries, who have vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine and want to visit Europe this summer, counting on the received certificate, should take it into account. According to the EU Council's recommendations published on May 20, getting vaccinated with a Russian drugs does not give the right to enter the EU. As of the end of June, foreigners who have been vaccinated with drugs approved by the EMA (BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson) and WHO (Sinopharm) can freely enter the EU countries. Meanwhile, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) has banned imports of Sputnik V due to “inherent risks” and “serious defects”, the press release said. The agency explained the decision, referring to the available data that in the drug for the second vaccination was found not inactivated, but “live” adenovirus, which is able to multiply in the human body and cause infection.

In this regard, the question arises: is it worth Argentina, Algeria, Palestine, Paraguay, Tunisia, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco to buy Sputnik V, and Lebanon to build a plant for its production in its country? Based on the refusal of the Russians themselves from using Sputnik V, it seems that a group of these countries are unwitting participants in the tests.

Author: expert O. Bokach

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Opinions expressed below do not reflect the opinions of SP "Ukraine in Arabic," they only reflect the views of the author.



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