Tuesday, August 11, 2020 11:41:05 PM
Reuters, London :
An announcement by Russia on Tuesday that it will approve a Covid-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing prompted alarm among global health experts, who said that with no full trial data, the vaccine is hard to trust.
Intent on being first in the global race to develop a vaccine against the pandemic disease, Russia has yet to conduct large-scale trials of the shot that would produce data to show whether it works - something immunologists and infectious disease experts say could be a "reckless" step.
"Russia is essentially conducting a large population level experiment," said Ayfer Ali, a specialist in drug research at Britain's Warwick Business School.
She said such a super-fast approval could mean that potential adverse effects of a vaccine may not be picked up. These, while likely to be rare, could be serious, she warned.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had been administered to one of his daughters.
"I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks," Putin said on state television.
Francois Balloux, an expert at University College London's Genetics Institute, said it was "a reckless and foolish decision".
"Mass vaccination with an improperly tested vaccine is unethical," he said. "Any problem with the Russian vaccination campaign would be disastrous both through its negative effects on health, but also because it would further set back the acceptance of vaccines in the population."
His comments were echoed by Danny Altmann, a professor of Immunology at Imperial College London, who said the "collateral damage" from deploying any vaccine that is not yet known to be safe and effective "would exacerbate our current problems insurmountably".
Even as Russia declared victory, more than half a dozen drugmakers around the world are in the process of conducting large-scale, advanced human trials of their potential COVID-19 vaccines, each with tens of thousands of volunteer participants.
Several of these frontrunners, including Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, say they hope to know if their vaccines work and are safe by the end of this year.
All are expected to publish their trial results and safety data and submit them to regulators in the United States, Europe and elsewhere for scrutiny before any licence could be granted.
The Russian vaccine's approval by the Health Ministry comes before trials that would normally involve thousands of participants, commonly known as a Phase III trial. Such trials are usually considered essential precursors for a vaccine to secure regulatory approval.
Peter Kremsner, an expert at Germany's University Hospital in Tuebingen who is working on clinical trials of a vaccine candidate from CureVac, said Russia's move was "reckless".
"Normally you need a large number of people to be tested before you approve a vaccine," he said. "I think it's reckless to do that if lots of people haven't already been tested."
Experts said the lack of published data on Russia's vaccine - including how it is made and details on safety, immune response and whether can prevent COVID-19 infection - leaves scientists, health authorities and the public in the dark.
"It is not possible to know if the Russian vaccine has been shown to be effective without submission of scientific papers for analysis," said Keith Neal, a specialist in the epidemiology of infectious diseases at Britain's Nottingham University
COTTAGE and micro-industry entrepreneurs are not getting loans from the government's Tk 20,000 crore stimulus package, while banks are disbursing most of the loans to medium industries. As a result, many cottage and micro-industries are on the verge of permanently shutting down as they have no working capital to survive. ...
AP :Last week's Beirut blast destroyed the 160-year-old landmark Sursock Palace, one of the most storied buildings in the Lebanese capital which withstood two world wars, the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the French mandate and Lebanese independence.After the country's 1975-1990 civil war, it took 20 years of careful restoration ...
AT LEAST 17 people were killed in four separate road mishaps in Mymensingh, Chuadanga, Narayanganj and Manikganj on Friday. During the Eid rush of travelling home and back, 242 people were killed and 331 injured in 201 road accidents across the country. Road accident is everyday tragedy for Bangladesh as ...
AP, Lexington :Serena Williams flexed and then kissed a sinewy right bicep to show down time well spent in training even without bench pressing."This is God given, thank you very much," the 23-time Grand Slam champion said as she thanked her mother, Oracene.Williams now looks to flex her muscles on ...
Al Jazeera :Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa has been sworn in as the country's prime minister for the fourth time after his party secured a landslide victory in parliamentary elections that cemented his family's hold on power.Mahinda took oath on Sunday before his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, at ...
THE International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) the country's one of the best known public health organization and acclaimed world-wide for innovation of dehydration therapy (Orsaline) to save millions of cholera patients is now in dire financial situation facing existential crisis. International donations dried up recently as the ...
Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri said he was "bitter" as the Italian giants crashed out of the Champions League on Friday to Lyon despite a Cristiano Ronaldo double giving the hosts a 2-1 win over the French club on the night.Captain Memphis Depay's 12th-minute penalty however, sealed Lyon's berth in the ...
Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto Assis could be released from custody within days after striking a plea deal with Paraguayan investigators on Friday.Paraguay's public prosecutor's office asked for proceedings against the men to be suspended pending a final court hearing, according to their lawyer Sergio Queiroz.Ronaldinho and Assis have been ...
President Donald Trump said Friday he was poised to sign executive orders to extend aid to Americans facing hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, though negotiations continued between his administration and Democratic leaders in Congress on a new emergency spending bill."End of the week," Trump said on the timing of ...
Naimur Rahman Afid :Tasting salt is a flavor enhancer used in savory foods, especially Asian foods. It is also known as monosodium glutamate (MSG) which is the sodium salt of glutamic acid. Glutamic acid is a naturally occurring amino acid. Some vegetables like tomato, mushroom and many other plants contain ...