Russia has recently come out to the entire world with a revolutionary new vaccine, even going as far as to offer to send the United States “Unprecedented cooperation” in boosting treatment and creating a vaccine for themselves, stated by a Moscow official. This offer was quickly rejected by the United States government in a press statement on tuesday. So, what really is this new vaccine, and is it safe?
Russia’s new vaccine, dubbed “Sputnik V” after the first artificial satellite to leave earth launched by the USSR in 1957, contain a modified Adenovirus. What this means is the vaccine contains the common cold, or the flu, that has been modified to enter the cells of a human the way SARS-CoV-2 does, effectively training the body to recognize anything that enters cells in this way as a threat and priming the immune system to fight off the disease.The vaccine is administered twice, 21 days apart, and supposedly provides full immunity to Covid-19.
In the United States and other NATO countries, vaccines must pass three specific trials set forth by the FDA and other world organizations. The first trial determines a safe dose with a small number of people, the second trial is the one that determines inverse and negative side effects on a larger group, while the third trial actually determines whether the vaccine has the potency to protect against infection.
The Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, the organization who created the vaccine, has claimed to pass two out of three of the tests set forward but have shown no data on the trails and has had really no incentive to undergo the testing phases, since they are not required in Russia. This means the vaccine could have many and even possibly fatal side effects that have not been revealed to anyone, a major reason why the U.S. initially rejected Russia’s offer. Moreover, they have not passed or even attempted the third stage of trials yet, meaning there is little to no evidence the vaccine even works at all.
Many scientists have come out condemning mass distribution of the vaccine as reckless, dangerous, and foolish. The U.S. currently has six known vaccines in the third stage of testing, and they have stated that they will rely and hope for the best on those instead of taking a reach with the Russian ones. Hopefully, one of the many vaccines being tested will be ready to roll out within the next twelve months.