Home / World / COVID-19 vaccine production starts in Russia, but half of the country’s medical professionals will not take it

COVID-19 vaccine production starts in Russia, but half of the country’s medical professionals will not take it

More than half of medical professionals surveyed in Russia said they didn’t trust the COVID-19 vaccine, touted by President Vladimir Putin, when the country announced it had started widespread production.

The Russian Ministry of Health announced on Saturday that production of the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute outside Moscow had “started”. Tass news agency reported that 20 countries have requested the delivery of one billion cans.

However, it appears that the craze for the vaccine from Putin, who said it was ingested by one of his daughters and offers “sustained immunity,” is not shared across the Russian medical establishment.

Russia vaccine
Russian biotech company BIOCAD, which is developing a COVID-19 vaccine, is shown in this illustrative image. The Russian Ministry of Health announced that it has started production of the COVID-19 vaccine. Russia announced that it was the first to be developed.
OLGA MALTSEVA / Getty Images

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In an online survey of more than 3,000 health professionals through the Doctor’s Handbook app, 52 percent of doctors said they would not take the vaccine.

Of those doubters, nearly two-thirds, or 66 percent, said there wasn’t enough data to show effectiveness, and just under half, or 48 percent, said they were developed too quickly.

However, a fifth of those who would oppose the vaccination would continue to recommend the Sputnik V vaccine to others. Less than a quarter of the medical professionals surveyed – or 24.5 percent – said they would get it vaccinated.

The poll of 3,040 Russian medical professionals on August 12 and 13 was reported by the RBC news website.

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Russia’s Deputy Health Minister Oleg Salagay said he was not surprised by the results of the survey and that “trust must be earned over the years”.

“Confidence should not be confused with an objective assessment of efficacy and safety. And the results of such an assessment allow experts today to draw a conclusion about the possibility of using the vaccine,” he wrote in a post on Telegram.

From the end of August, frontline health workers and teachers in Russia will be the first to be vaccinated with the viral vector vaccine, a solution for injection based on the adenovirus, or the common cold, distributed in two doses.

Gamaleya has announced that the vaccine will be immune to Covid-19 for two years, but the speed of its development has raised alarm bells among many experts.

Imperial College London professor of immunology Danny Altmann said earlier this week that it was “virtually impossible” to adequately research the adverse effects of the vaccine by Russian scientists.

“We have high criteria and strict criteria for approving vaccines after phase 3 trials, so neither of us can fully understand the details in the Russian press releases as they are not completely transparent on hard data,” he said Newsweek.

This graph provided by Statista shows the global spread of the coronavirus.

Countries with the most COVID-19 cases
The spread of COVID-19 cases around the world.

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