Russian Spútnik V vaccine should be passed this week for use in the EU
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) are due to travel to Moscow this week to review clinical trials of the world's first patented vaccine, Russia's Spútnik, with view to certifying for use in the European Union, making it the fifth vaccine to be available for use.
The EMA has not officially announced their visit, but the Russian Minister of Health, Mikhail Murashko, has done so, saying that they are arriving in Moscow on Saturday, April 10th, adding that this trip should be the final phase for the European regulator to include the Russian vaccine among those authorized in the EU. He further claims that Spútnik could be the best solution to accelerate immunization in Europe.
British Scientists, in the publication The Lancet, have confirmed that the effectiveness of the Spútnik V vaccine is 91.6%, the eficacy declared by the creators of the drug, the National Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology Gamaleya in Moscow, after completing all stages of the tests and clinical trials.
This means that they consider the efficacy of Spútnik V to be "safe" and is comparable to the Pfizer/Biontech (95%) and Moderna (94.1%) vaccines, and superior to the Oxford AstraZeneca (79%) and all the others available, and Russia claims that if the infection is confirmed, vaccination with Sputnik V guarantees a quick recovery without serious symptoms.
The Russian vaccine was the first to be registered in the world, in August last year, an event that President Vladimir Putin announced with the usual hype. However, the speed with which it was developed, having been homologated in Russia without having previously concluded all the phases of the trials and the lack of transparency, contributed to generating distrust towards the vaccine.
Unlike Pfizer and Moderna, AstraZeneca and Spútnik V are "viral vector" vaccines, which means that they use weakened and neutralized viruses, which are harmless to the body, but capable of producing the necessary immunity. AstraZeneca uses a single chimpanzee adenovirus while the Russian one involves two human adenoviruses, one in each of the two doses administered 21 days apart, which, according to the Gamaleya Centre, strengthens the immune response.
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Another advantage of the Spútnik V over its competitors is that excessively low temperatures are not necessary for its conservation or storage. The immediate side effects, once the jab is done, can be momentary headaches at the injection site, muscle discomfort, some fever, chills and a feeling of general weakness.
Once the EMA approves the use of Sputnik V in the EU, Russia say they will be able to supply the EU with enough doses to vaccinate 50 million people, claiming to already have reached agreements with pharmacological companies in Germany, France, Italy and Spain.