In Scramble to Develop Vaccine, Russia Neglects Precautions

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits a Moscow hospital treating patients suffering from COVID-19 in March of 2020. (Photo courtesy of Alexey Druzhinin/Kremlin/Reuters)

By Michael Morano
International News Writer

On August 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin made the announcement that a vaccine for COVID-19 had passed the necessary trials required for use. This development was met with skepticism from around the world.

Scientists from across the globe have expressed concerns about this Russian vaccine, stating that there was no prior information about this vaccine before August 11, and data on phase three tests had not started yet. Russia however, remains confident. Putin has even stated that the vaccine was tested on his own daughter. With the race for a cure for the virus under way, Russia seems to be viewing their vaccine as not just a global cure, but also as a means for personal glory. Russia has even gone so far as to name their vaccine “Sputnik V” as a callback to the space race against the United States during the Cold War, which some see as another product of tensions between Russia, Western Europe, and the United States.

Despite the international concern for the speed at which Sputnik V was released, Russia is still pressing on with clinical trials. Since Putin’s announcement about the vaccine, Russia has published results from the first two phases of trials, with phase three currently proceeding with thousands of volunteers. These results again raised concerns, as they show that the vaccine was tested on only 76 people as opposed to a higher, more informative number of subjects. For the citizens of Russia, this is partially seen as good news, as the country has recorded the fourth-highest number of confirmed cases in the world with a second wave currently happening, yet there are even some citizens who are having doubts. With the clock ticking, and the vaccine’s production rights already being sold to multiple countries, it is only a matter of time before the world finds out if Russia’s huge bet on Sputnik V pays off.


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