Russia registered the World’s first approved COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V on August 11.It said the country’s first COVID-19 vaccine had received regulatory approval for foreign markets. The Russian government said in its statement that the vaccine candidate had already completed all its human trials forsafety and efficacy against the novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19.
The country is reported to further begin the mass production for a consequent country-wide vaccine drive soon. The above mentioned Russian Sputnik V vaccine has been developed by the country’s Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute. Researchers have reportedly shared that those injected with the Gam-COVID-VacLyo vaccine developed immunity 21 days after receiving the first dose.
Additionally, their immunity reportedly doubled after they received the second shot of the vaccine. It has been claimed that a complete hundred percent of the volunteers involved in the vaccine developed the immunity after 21 days of the first dose. It doubles after the second shot. Moreover, all the animals who received the vaccine were also reported to have developed immunity against the virus.
Concerns among the Scientific Community
While the news of the first approved COVID-19 vaccine has seemed like great news at first, it was soon followed by suspicions and alarms from the scientific community. World Health Organisation has been closely tracking more than 150 COVID-19 vaccine candidates from around the world. But, it hadn’t publicly noted the Russian Gamaleya vaccine clearing the second and third phase human trials.
Furthermore, it is also worth noting that Russia itself as well has not publicly shared muchof the trial findings either. Experts have accused the nation of potentially fast-tracking the trial process for its COVID-19 vaccine candidates.Notably, WHO has also urged nationsto follow the established guidelines to produce a safe vaccine.
Christian Lindmeier, WHO spokesperson said, “Sometimes individual researchers claim they have found something, which is of course, as such, great news. But between finding or having a clue of maybe having a vaccine that works, and having gone through all the stages, is a big difference.”
The larger scientific community has warned that an unsafe or ineffective vaccine can cause dual threats of potential negative impact on human health as well as the false sense of security. Many have also emphasized that a time frame of around two months is simply not enough to complete all the three phases of human trials.
What’s in a name? Maybe some space connection!!
Lastly, one of the other interesting aspects of the vaccine that garnered attention was its name.Russia has named its first successful vaccine candidate against COVID-19 as Sputnik V. The nation’s first registered virus has been named after the country’s first ground-breaking success in the space race of 1950s.
The word, спутник(Russian for Sputnik) literally means a fellow traveller. But, the word has a special significance for Russian citizens as the name also marks its space glory. Then, USSR launched the world’s first-ever artificial Earth satellite, named Sputnik on 4 October 1957. Being way ahead of its time, the Sputnik satellite had taken many of the Soviet Union rivals by a surprise (or a rather shock). Thus, the name, Sputnik V seems to have been aptly chosen to mark the Russian victory in registering the first ever approved vaccine for the COVID-19.