Health

Is the Russian Coronavirus Vaccine Really Effective?

Image: George Hodan (publicdomainpictures.net)

The biggest hope for ending the ongoing coronavirus pandemic since its beginning in the month of February has been an effective vaccine. Therefore, there are various trials being held around the world, two of which have also reported positive results and entered the final and the largest phase. It was expected one of these trials to launch a vaccine in the market but the first one to be available in the market now is a Russian coronavirus vaccine.

Prior to the launch of the latest vaccination for coronavirus from Russia, the president of the United States, Donald Trump had given a statement saying that the US will ‘probably have a vaccine by fall’. However, the medical community had disagreed saying that a coronavirus vaccine can take several more months to be launched.

The reason behind this is that a greater period of time is required to investigate a potentially effective formula completely. At times, vaccinations that have been observed to be beneficial can show far greater adverse effects on health in later phases.

Usually, the setting up of clinical trials, specifically those for formulating a vaccination for a specific disease, can take several months and the final results can take years to guarantee the safety and that the advantages outweigh any negative outcomes.

This is why a common question raised after the launch of the recent Russian coronavirus vaccine is how were the researchers able to come up with an effective vaccination in such a short time?

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Some may argue that other potentially effective vaccines that may be available in the market following the Russian one may also be launched quicker in comparison with the typical timeframe, it should be noted that the most of other vaccines are expected at a much later time and will likely complete all three phases.

The primary problem with the vaccination from Russia is that it has not completed the final phase of a clinical trial which is the largest and is vital in determining its safety and efficacy. Some experts have even warned against the use of the vaccine while highlighting that lack of testing can be proven dangerous in the long term.

The vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute in Moscow. According to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, the vaccine has been specifically designed for public use.

Read more about the vaccine here.

The healthcare minister of the country, Mikhail Murashko, has further added that the vaccine will first only be available to specific groups of people including health care workers and will be gradually used in the rest of the population.

The launch of the Russian coronavirus vaccine has made the country to be the first one to develop a vaccination that can help in ending the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, experts are still skeptical and have questioned its efficacy.

The adjunct professor of global vaccinology and vaccine policy at the Milken Institute School of Public Health of George Washington University, Dr. Jon Andrus, says that the launch of the vaccine breaks vaccine guidelines and medical protocols.

Overall, there is still a hope that the vaccine works regardless of the trial missing a fundamental step in its development for controlling the crisis as soon as possible.

About the author

Abeera I. Kazmi

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