Soon after Russia has launched its COVID-19 vaccine, a doctor from the medical ethics committee under Health Ministry resigned. Reportedly, the doctor has safety concerns on this new Russian Coronavirus vaccine.
Alexander Chuchalin made a rather fierce attack on the new vaccine named Sputnik V while sending his resign. Despite the stress and frustration caused by the pandemic, the criticism coming from a doctor raises questions on the safety of the vaccine.
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He has mentioned the names of two medics that have been involved in its production and have compromised on medical ethics. He has reportedly named Prof Alexander Gintsburg who is the director at Gamaleya Research Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology. The second person he has named is Prof Sergey Borisevich who is a medical colonel and a leading virologist in Russia’s army.
These two people are the brain behind this new Russian coronavirus vaccine. Dr. Chuchalin questions the safety paths necessary to approve the vaccine. Russian Federation legislation as well as the international scientific community both recognize this standard to follow. But as to Dr. Chuchalin, this requirement has not met.
He further said that he is rather stressed because of the statements made about this vaccine and knowing the irresponsible method to approve them.
Although his resignation letter doesn’t list the specific reason but the interview that he gave to the journal Nauka i Zhizn (Science and Life) just before he resigned, he shared concern over safety levels of the Russian coronavirus vaccine.
Safety is always the biggest factor behind developing or approving any medicine and vaccine. These products are to be used by humans and it’s their first time using a Russian coronavirus vaccine. There is no way to tell how well the user will tolerate this product if the pre-safety measures aren’t met.
‘Safety always comes first. How to evaluate it? The vaccines that are being created today have never been used in humans, and we cannot predict how a person will tolerate it.
Chucalin is one of the pioneers of the Russian Research Institute of Pulmonology and was heading the Department of Hospital Therapy, at the Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University. He says it is almost impossible to know the odds without even following all the aspects of safety.
It is the researcher’s responsibility to link the product with the safety protocols for evaluation just to make sure that it will not harm the users.
Applying the same on this Russian coronavirus vaccine, it is necessary to evaluate the risk factors, especially in the long term. It has so many elements that may not represent right away or even after a small period. It needs at least one year or two to complete the safety profile.
Russia is also working on a number of other coronavirus vaccines and many of them are being developed by the governmental research centers. The safety criteria followed here can never be long term, so definitely they are concerned over short-term safety.