Bringing up a vaccine and proving a vaccine to be safe and effective for public use are quite different. This is Anthony Fauci’s take on the Russian claims of having successfully prepared and approved a COVID-19 prevention vaccine and is ready to market it.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the U.S., Anthony Fauci, made these comments as a part of an interview for “Stopping Pandemics”, an exclusive event to be aired on August 13, by National Geographic.
Fauci told the event moderator, “I hope that the Russians have actually definitely proven that the vaccine is safe and effective. I seriously doubt that they’ve done that.”
Russia had hinted that they are quickly progressing on its vaccine candidate named Sputnik V, after the country’s first ground-breaking satellite that was launched in 1960. Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of Moscow is where the Sputnik V is being developed. In this year May, the director of the aforementioned institute claimed that he and his researchers had begun testing the drugs on themselves before human trials began with 76 subjects in the first phase, a month later.
However, the Gamaleya Institute hasn’t published any results from the human trials which ideally involves three phases to check the efficiency of any drug- its safety, dosage and efficacy. Also, no pre-clinical research involving model animals or experiments done on artificially raised cells have been published by the Institute as yet.
In spite of the lack of public information, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin stated that the country’s health regulating body is ready to approve the vaccine for widespread use. In a statement given by Putin and released by Kremlin, he says, “We have to be grateful to those who have taken this first step, very important step, very important for Russia and for the entire world.”
The approval has come even though some Russian officers say that phase three trials aren’t concluded yet. The Associated Press was told by Kirill Dmitriev, the chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund which is financing the vaccine of Russia that the advanced trials were scheduled to begin by around August 12 across several nations but the AP could find no documented proof in the Health Ministry’s record citing approval of these trials.
Phase three trials are essential to validate if a vaccine is effective and ready for widespread use. This final step in testing is designed to identify the safest dose for the masses and this determination can only be done by giving the vaccine to a diverse group consisting of thousands of people. This stage of trials also determines the degree up to which a vaccine works.
According to research by the MIT, only one out of three vaccines pass the phase three trials i.e. establishing a recommended dosage and meeting the standards of efficacy and safety. Fauci further said that the U.S. could take a chance of hurting a lot of people by injecting something that didn’t work and they can do it by next week itself!