“Commenting on the accusations against Russia is gaining more circus like that,” Peskov said in a press conference call on Friday. “Russia does not misinform anyone, Russia proudly talks about its achievements and Russia shares its achievements regarding the first registered [coronavirus] vaccine in the world. ”
“We know that Russia has set a record high in this area. We have previously commented and called them here,” Raab said in an interview with Sky News.
“But anyone who tries to really sabotage the efforts of those who try to develop a vaccine I think is deeply to blame. It is unacceptable and unjustified in any circumstances.”
The Times said a “whistleblower”; “involved in the campaign” had passed the images on paper out of concern about the potential harm to public health efforts. The newspaper said it was unclear whether the campaign was directly authorized by the Kremlin but added that “there is evidence that some Russian officials were involved in the organization and its deployment.”
“Misinformation is a clear public health hazard. This is especially true of the current pandemic that continues to claim thousands of lives, significantly disrupting livelihoods and damaging the economy,” said Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, in a statement.
“I invite everyone to use a reliable source of information, to trust control agencies and to remember the tremendous benefits of vaccines and drugs that continue to be brought to humanity.”
Disinformation is “reckless and heinous behavior that can lead to real harm to people’s health”, said a source in Whitehall, the central London-based area where UK prime ministers are based. “This kind of lie is fundamentally detrimental to all of us around the world and we need to be alert to identify and counteract this type of activity to support providing real information for all people about Covid-19 and vaccines. “
When asked to comment on the article, a Kremlin spokesman accused the UK of spreading disinformation about the Russian vaccine, suggesting that it was proof of unfair competition in the vaccine career.
“Russia already has documents of intention to sell or co-produce this vaccine in many countries, and of course in these countries Russia does not hide the notification [the public] about the benefits of our vaccine, “Peskov said.” The number of [producers] which can be called competitions, they are the ones disinforming, the disinformation agents are sitting in the UK, among other places. ”
According to the Times, the campaign focuses on “countries like India and Brazil where Russia is trying to sell its own vaccine” as well as Western countries having their own vaccines. So far, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund (or the RDIF), which promotes the vaccine, has said it has reached agreements to provide Sputnik V to India and Brazil, among others.
RDIF says it condemns social media attacks against the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“We condemn the social media posts that seek to discredit the AstraZeneca vaccine described by The Times today. We believe any attempt to smear any vaccine is wrong including against Gamaleya’s Sputnik V vaccine,” he said. Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of RDIF, told CNN in a statement Friday. “All vaccines should, of course, be subject to the strictest scientific investigation.”
However, the statement “monkey vaccine” has been voiced by Russian officials and state media before.
On September 9, following the news of a pause in AstraZeneca’s global trials due to an unexplained illness, Dmitry Peskov said the British vaccine was less safe because it was a “monkey vaccine” during the Russia’s development is a “human vaccine” and is believed to be “more reliable” by Russian scientists.
Crude images depicting monkeys with captions such as “Monkey vaccine is fine” and similar memes appeared in Russian state media two days after AstraZeneca announced the pause. On September 10, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti published an editorial titled “Why the West is losing to the vaccine race: Russia is exposed,” containing four caricatures on the monkey vaccine with captions in English.
AstraZeneca continues trials in the UK. In the US, the FDA is considering whether to allow AstraZeneca to resume its trial after a participant becomes ill. The question is whether the disease is a defect, or whether it may be related to the vaccine.
The head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which promotes the development of Sputnik V, said in September the company was “pleased” to see AstraZeneca’s tests progress but called the strategy “unacceptable” because ” over-reliance on new unproven. technologies, “including the use of a monkey adenovirus vector or mRNA technology.
However, in July, RDIF announced that one of its portfolio companies, the manufacturer of the drug R-Pharm, had negotiated with AstraZeneca to produce the Oxford vaccine in Russia. The announcement comes after warnings that actors linked to Russia are trying to hack UK, US and Canadian-based research centers to gain vaccine-making intelligence. Russia has denied any involvement.
RDIF leader Kirill Dmitriev told Reuters at the time that there was no need to steal any secrets as there was already a deal with AstraZeneca to produce a potential British vaccine in Russia.
“The transfer of the cell line and the adenovirus vector to Russia has been carried out; plans to produce an antigen in it and produce a finished dose,” R-Pharm said in a July statement. “At the same time, Russia will be one of the hubs for the manufacture and supply of vaccines in international markets.”
When asked on Friday to comment on whether AstraZeneca’s cessation of testing and technology threatens to deal with a Russian manufacturer, Dmitriev said: “One of our portfolio companies is producing the AstraZeneca vaccine. We believe that both the human adenoviral vector technique used by Sputnik V, and the chimpanzee adenoviral vector technique used by AstraZeneca are both very promising techniques based on solid scientific basis. ”
Gamaleya uses adenoviruses in their Covid-19 vaccines; this is the same approach used in vaccines developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. The adenovirus delivers genetic material for the spike protein that sits on top of the virus caused by Covid-19, and the genetic material is designed to produce an immune response to the virus.
Adenoviruses can cause a variety of symptoms, including the common cold. Researchers have manipulated the virus so that it does not mimic and cause disease.
The Gamaleya vaccine is given in two doses, and each dose uses a different adenovirus vector.
Russia registered the first Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in August after testing it on 76 volunteers and earlier in a large-scale Phase 3 test. The announcement was followed by much arrogance from the Russian state media but has gained widespread skepticism from the international community regarding its safety and the idea that approval may be driven by political goals. Sputnik V is now in phase 3 of the trial which to date has involved 13,000 people and is seeking to enroll up to 40,000, according to Russian officials.
AstraZeneca began a large-scale phase of 3 human clinical trials in August that aim to enroll up to 30,000. Such tests are the last step before a vaccine maker obtains approval from regulators.
Another EpiVacCorona vaccine developed by a former biochemical weapon lab Vector, was registered in Russia this week before undergoing Phase 3 tests. The third potential Russian vaccine, from the Chumakov Institute, began Phase tests I last week.