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Russia wants to distribute its questionable coronavirus vaccine to other countries: report

Business Insider logo Business Insider 11/21/2020 ydzhanova@businessinsider.com (Yelena Dzhanova)
Vladimir Putin wearing a suit and tie: Russian President Vladimir Putin Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images © Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images Russian President Vladimir Putin Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to distribute its questionable Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to other countries, Reuters reported Saturday.
  • Russia first approved Sputnik V in August, but experts and health officials were skeptical the vaccine would work since it did not go through necessary phase 3 trials. 
  • The Kremlin also kept important information relevant to the vaccine's success out of the public's eye. This included its methodology.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that the country is hoping to distribute its controversial Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to other countries, according to Reuters

Russia announced a successful coronavirus vaccine in August, but Sputnik V was approved under questionable circumstances. It was released before it went through phase 3 trials. In the United States, phase 3 is a requirement before a drug or vaccine can be vetted and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

As Business Insider's Susie Neilson previously reported, the vaccine's early-trial results had not undergone peer review. Russia had also not revealed its methodology, further enshrouding Sputnik V in secrecy.

The rushed timeline led health officials to speculate whether the Kremlin coerced vaccine makers into putting out Sputnik V quickly to gain a leg up in the global race for a cure to the coronavirus.

Speaking at the annual G20 Summit, Putin said Saturday that Russia is in the process of creating a second and third vaccine in response to the coronavirus, Reuters reported Saturday.


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Putin also said restated his goal to mass-produce the vaccine for other countries. For months, the Russian president has been pushing other countries to take his vaccine seriously.

Russia in August said it would start the mass production process in September, despite the uncertainty that plagued Sputnik V.

Earlier this month, the Kremlin announced that preliminary data showed the vaccine had a 92% effectiveness rate at preventing the coronavirus. But the data was based on just 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to a press release.

Putin told news reporters in August that he had offered to help the United States develop a coronavirus vaccine, but the White House declined.

Putin, however, maintains the assertion that the vaccine has "passed all the needed checks," even adding at one point that he had his own daughter take it.

There are two coronavirus vaccines that have proven to have a high success rate at fighting the coronavirus. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer and biotech group Moderna announced earlier this month that they've developed vaccines with at least a 94.5% success rate at preventing the coronavirus in clinical trials. 

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