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11 Aug, 2021 12:29

‘Politics’ prevents highly-effective Sputnik V’s approval by WHO & European regulator – leading Australian epidemiologist to RT

‘Politics’ prevents highly-effective Sputnik V’s approval by WHO & European regulator – leading Australian epidemiologist to RT

It’s important for people in the West to know that the Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine works great, but politics prevents it from hitting wider markets, a renowned Australian epidemiologist told RT.

Mike Toole, a leading epidemiologist at the Melbourne-based Burnet Institute, told RT it is not exactly clear why the World Health Organization and the EU regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), have not yet authorized Sputnik V for emergency use.

Toole suggested that while the EMA may be concerned whether there has been proper monitoring of the side effects, other factors are at play as well. “Definitely, there are politics,” he said.

I agreed [to previously speak to Australian media] about Sputnik V because I felt it was important that people in the West understood that there is a very good vaccine produced in Russia.    

“It was developed by an excellent, world-renowned research institute – the Gamaleya, which I have visited in 1991.”

Toole cited the results of clinical trials published in one of the world’s most reputable peer-reviewed medical journals, the Lancet, in February, which showed that the Russian-made vaccine has an efficacy rate close to 92%, and is 100% effective against severe cases of Covid-19.

Sputnik V functions somewhat similarly to the vaccines made by AstraZeneca/Oxford and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) but, unlike them, does not cause side effects like blood clotting.

“The reason it might not have these blood clotting events is that the vaccine has two different adenoviruses [instead of one], which kind of ‘piggy-backs’ strands of protein from the Covid virus,” Toole explained.

Also on rt.com 69 countries & millions of jabs later, Sputnik V is a year old: Russia marks milestone for world’s 1st registered Covid-19 vaccine

The EMA said earlier this year that cases of blood clotting linked to the AstraZeneca and J&J vaccines are extremely rare, and the benefits of taking them vastly outweigh the risk of dying from the coronavirus.

The European regulator announced the start of a rolling review of Sputnik V in March, but has since stayed silent on the matter. Reuters quoted sources in July as saying the approval process was being delayed because Moscow had failed to provide enough data on the clinical trials.

The state-run Russian Direct Investment Fund, which funded the development of Sputnik V, said the Reuters report contained “false and inaccurate statements.” The fund’s CEO, Kirill Dmitriev, has repeatedly claimed that there is political bias against the Russian vaccine, and the Western “big pharma lobby” has worked to bar it from the European market.

Created by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute, Sputnik V became the world’s first registered Covid-19 vaccine when Russia’s state regulator approved it in August 2020. The vaccine has since been authorized for emergency use in nearly 70 countries, including Argentina, Mexico, India, Hungary, and the UAE.

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