Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday told leaders at this weekend’s Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Saudi Arabia that Russia was ready to distribute its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to other countries.
According to Reuters, Russia is also preparing its second and third vaccines, telling the other world leaders that creating a vaccine portfolio was “our common goal.”
The announcement to the G-20 — which is comprised of 19 countries, including the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan as well as the European Union — comes as some have raised doubts on the safety and efficacy of Russia’s vaccine.
Earlier this month, Russia announced that interim trial data showed Sputnik V to be 92 percent effective at protecting individuals from the virus. While experts noted this was encouraging, they also pointed out that the data was drawn from a small number of 20 volunteers who had contracted COVID-19.
The trial size is significantly smaller than the 94 coronavirus cases contracted by participants in the trials by drugmaker Pfizer and German manufacturing firm BioNTech.
Some hypothesized that Russia was pushed into making an announcement on the effectiveness of its vaccine, as it came two days after Pfizer said that its candidate was more than 90 percent effective.
Final data has since revealed that Pfizer’s vaccine has a 95 percent efficacy rate “against COVID-19 beginning 28 days after the first dose.”
Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Friday that they had applied for emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.
In addition to the US, the companies have already begun submissions in Europe and the UK, and intend to submit more “in the coming days.” The companies said they would be ready to distribute the vaccine immediately upon authorization.
However, experts have predicted that after federal approval, doses will likely be available only for front-line health care workers and other higher-risk groups by the end of the year, with enough doses for wide distribution to the general public by spring or summer 2021.
According to coronavirus data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Russia is currently ranked fifth globally in the number of total COVID-19 infections, with more than 2 million recorded.
The US currently has the most recorded cases of any country around the world with 12 million infections, followed by India, Brazil and France.
Source: The Hill
BDST: 1615 HRS, NOV 22, 2020