Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to start the war in Ukraine may have shattered any further ambitions and prospects for Russia's Sputnik coronavirus vaccine, but how?

In this report, published by the American newspaper, "Washington post", the writer Maayan Hoffman said that the manufacture of the "Sputnik" vaccine slowed down with the cessation of more research and the postponement of the World Health Organization's visit on the seventh of last March to the Russian Sputnik factories. , which is the final step in the long-awaited international approval process.

But the Russian war on Ukraine suspended this step indefinitely, to write a possible end to a vaccine that astonished the world by its speed.

As Russia focuses on Ukraine, other vaccine makers are pressing ahead and filling the void that the Jamalia Institute that developed the vaccine and its partner, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) hoped to fill before the war broke out.

The first country to approve a vaccine against the Corona virus

On August 11, 2020, just 6 months after the outbreak of the epidemic, Russia became the first country to approve a vaccine against the Corona virus, and it hoped that its vaccine would be used around the world to help stop the epidemic, exploit it for geopolitical and economic gains, and restore its glory. as a superpower.

The country named its vaccine "Sputnik V" after the first satellite (Sputnik I), which was developed in 1957 and beat the United States in the space race.

According to the data provided by Sputnik, the "Sputnik V" vaccine has been approved in 71 countries with more than 4 billion people, and its latest vaccine, "Sputnik Light", has been recognized in 30 countries.

But nearly two years later, the Jamalia Institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund have sold fewer than 300 million doses, and less than 2.5% of vaccinated people worldwide have taken Sputnik, while more than 5.3 billion doses of Sinovac vaccines have been sold. (Sinovac) and "Sinopharm" (Chinese).

Russian vaccine diplomacy has failed

Director of Global Forecasting and Secretary of the Economic Information Unit Agathe Demarais said that "Russian vaccine diplomacy has failed," and stated that the "Aesthetically" institute was looking forward to launching a large propaganda campaign to save the vaccine, adding that they "believe in this from a scientific standpoint, but it is clear that the current situation is It transcends the limits of science.

At a time when both the Jamalia Institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund were trying to rehabilitate their vaccine last February through new research promoting it as a global vaccine, Russia invaded its neighbor Ukraine.

Four days later, the United States imposed sanctions, followed by the European Union.

When the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control put the RDIF and its CEO Kirill Dmitriev on its list of sanctioned entities and persons, it called the fund a "suspicious fund" of Putin and "a symbol of Russia's extended corrupt rule."

sanctions

The Treasury Department said - in a statement - that the Russian Direct Investment Fund is subject to sanctions for "acting or claiming to act for or on behalf of the government of Russia, directly or indirectly."

"Dmitriev is a close associate of Putin, and it is also believed that he and his wife are close to Putin's daughter Katerina Tikhonova," she added.

The Russian Investment Fund responded - in a statement published by the Russian state news agency "TASS" - accusing the United States of "defamation".

TASS reported that the US restrictions were politically motivated and "contrary to the principles of humanitarian cooperation", and that US sanctions would deprive billions of people of the "safe and effective" Russian vaccine.

In a separate letter sent last week to The Washington Post, the fund's general counsel Mikhail Irzevsky asserted that the SWF "always abides by the laws of the countries in which it manages its investments," and that "defamatory statements made by the Biden administration about the fund are absolutely unfounded." It is a flagrant violation of the Fund's rights."

He added that the fund supports the restoration of peace, and hopes that negotiations between Russia and Ukraine will be crowned with success.

How does the Sputnik vaccine work?

Jamalia National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology

Restrictions on Russia

In an interview, the head of the Aesthetics Institute, Alexander Ginsburg, accused the international community of conspiring to punish Russia.

Two days before the war began, Ginsburg said that if a vaccine was not approved, it was because authorities in other countries didn't want it "and it's not a matter of science."

He believes that "Sputnik V" constitutes serious competition for the vaccines that are currently widely used in the world and dominate mainly the international market.

The approval of the World Health Organization for the “Sputnik V” vaccine will lead to the transfer of a large share of the market to this vaccine and the Russian Federation, which is promoting it.

Most likely, this will not appeal to many parties in the world and certainly to the World Health Organization, so the approval of this vaccine witnessed many delays.

The writer said that restrictions on Russia's use of the Swift financial network mean that it will be difficult for foreign governments or NGOs to pay for Sputnik doses.

And last March, the local media in South Korea - which had hoped to produce 100 million doses per month - expressed fears that it might back down from producing the Sputnik vaccine.

The Russian Fund for Direct Investments has signed a long-term agreement with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to provide it with sufficient doses for approximately 110 million people in several developing countries.

prevent vaccine production

And the German city of Bavaria has stated its intention to block production of the vaccine - even if it obtains approval by the World Health Organization or the European Medicines Agency - in protest of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, despite the fact that a Russian company has established a production plant there to manufacture millions of doses.

At a recent press conference, Mariangela Battista Galvão Simão, WHO's Assistant Director-General for Access to Medicines, reported that the evaluation and inspection process for the Sputnik vaccine was affected "due to flight options, financial problems related to credit card support, and some other operational issues" associated with the sanctions.

The writer stated that research published last January from Argentina in the journal "The Lancet", showed that countries in the region, many of whose citizens received at least one dose of "Sputnik", can safely use alternative vaccines as a second dose.

And in Russia, where Sputnik was the only option, only about half of the citizens were vaccinated.

Ginsburg explains that the state campaign was "not properly organised" because vaccination drives were mostly organized by state officials rather than scientists and medical officials.

But surveys have indicated that the problem has more to do with Russians' mistrust of this vaccine.


More than half of Russians do not want to receive the vaccine

Several opinion polls published by the Levada Center last year revealed that more than half of Russians do not want to receive the vaccine and are not afraid of disease.

Denis Volkov, director of the Levada Center, explained that the Russians were not ready to receive the vaccine "because they do not trust the Russian authorities."

Globally, some top scientists have warned against using the Russian vaccine until it has done all the internationally approved testing and regulatory steps.

They also questioned Russia's ability to develop a vaccine so quickly.

According to Ginsberg, the Russian approval process for the vaccine is simply different from what is in place by the World Health Organization.

The World Health Organization said that the Russian Direct Investment Fund signed all the legal agreements necessary to evaluate the list of emergency uses only in October 2021 and provided the required data at the end of last January, which led to the organization of a visit during the month of March The race was canceled in The end of the war.

Sputnik lite vaccine shows sufficient efficacy

In the 30 days before the Russian invasion, the Sputnik vaccine was likely to return to the world stage.

The single-dose Sputnik Lite vaccine has been shown to be sufficiently effective to provide a booster dose for people who have received other vaccines.

And just 3 days before the invasion, the Russian Direct Investment Fund sent a statement announcing that China had allowed a boost to its domestic vaccines with a different vaccine, including from the category to which the Sputnik Lite vaccine belongs.

On February 14, the Russian Fund, the Russian “R-Pharm group” and “AstraZeneca” announced the interim results of the second phase of clinical trials to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the joint use of the vaccine AstraZeneca and Sputnik Lite, which revealed 200 volunteers did not suffer from any serious side effects.

These announcements came after the release of a study of blood samples conducted by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases “Lazzaro Spallanzani” in Italy, which showed that the Sputnik vaccine is twice more effective than the “Pfizer” vaccine in neutralizing “Omicron”.

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