The announcement immediately drew skepticism from scientists and public health officials. They questioned the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine as it had yet to go through the more extensive Phase 3 clinical trials, and pointed out that data from earlier trials we
re not published.
Last month, a study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet said preliminary results from Russia’s trials found that the vaccine showed no serious negative side effects. However, some scientists have questioned the reliability of data in the study.
Still, two countries — Belarus and the United Arab Emirates — have started human trials for the Russian vaccine. Additional trials are reportedly set to begin in Venezuela.
Dmitriev said countries should “test for themselves” the safety and efficacy of Russia’s vaccine.
“We’re dealing with the worst epidemic ever and I think countries need to be pragmatic,” he said. “Try different vaccines, and not just make a bet on one vaccine but have several vaccines in the portfolio.”