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28 Aug, 2020 09:20

Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine gives good immune response, critics don’t understand how it works – Health Ministry expert

Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine gives good immune response, critics don’t understand how it works – Health Ministry expert

When Russia unveiled the world’s first registered coronavirus vaccine two weeks ago, the announcement was greeted by a barrage of criticism from the West. A top immunologist says the frenzy of negativity was driven by ignorance.

The chief allergist and immunologist at the Russian Health Ministry, Rakhim Khaitov, believes those who denounce the vaccine are not well versed in its makeup. He also points to the fact that there are a large group of ‘anti-vaxxers’ globally who will reject any vaccines out of hand. “They have always caused tremendous harm,” he noted.

Khaitov stressed that Sputnik V, created by the Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, is already known to give a good immune response and create antibodies in its recipients. “This is not just another vaccine – it is a new-generation vaccine. It was developed on the basis of the latest achievements in molecular biology, virology, and immunology, which means it’s an evidence-based vaccine,” he said.

“Even though the post-registration clinical trials are only just starting, we already know the vaccine gives a good immune response and develops antibodies,” the expert continued. “It also gives a good cellular response and, most importantly, is harmless. The vaccine registration was perfectly justified, and I think it will be the first effective medication – it has everything needed to become one.”

Khaitov also has little time for those who believe Moscow ‘rushed’ the process, whether for prestige or propaganda purposes. “I believe it was the right decision to register the vaccine created by the Gamaleya Institute. There are many grounds to consider it effective. The post-registration clinical research is beginning now and will see 40,000 volunteers being vaccinated. High-risk groups will be vaccinated simultaneously – primarily doctors and teachers,” he outlined. “I think everything will be successful. I’m planning to get the vaccine myself, as well as for my immediate family and all relatives,” Khaitov concluded.

Sputnik V was unveiled on August 11, when Russia became the first country in the world to register a coronavirus vaccine. The formula passed clinical trials in June and July. It’s based on an already known platform that was used to create a number of previous vaccination solutions. On August 15, the Health Ministry in Moscow reported that vaccine production had begun.

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