Hyderabad: There is no data available on pre-clinical trials and no scientific input in peer-reviewed journals about the development of the vaccine by Russia, which is creating doubt about its development.
An indigenous vaccine development will require at least eight to 12 months and there must be some trial results on animals and humans available for assessment to understand its efficacy.
None of these has been provided by Russia which has only said that the vaccine was tested on 38 people and they have completely recovered.
CCMB director Dr Rakesh Mishra said, “It is a very unreliable vaccine as there is no data available on how and in what manner trials have been carried out. For any vaccine development, apart from time, there are thousands of people who have to be tested. How have they tested the number that they have provided to the world without a cure? When we inject a virus in the body, there has to also be a cure available. But there is no definite cure for Covid-19 yet. There is no clarity on this. Till these questions are answered, no country will be willing to take the vaccine from Russia.”
Dr AV Ramarao, senior scientist and former director of Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT), said, “It is too early to say anything about the vaccine from Russia. There is too much confusion. The numbers presented by them in terms of trials and testing are too few. We have to wait and watch.”
Questions have been raised by scientists as to why the apex body of healthcare, the World Health Organisation, has not been involved in the announcement. Have the results of the trials been reviewed by WHO.
Sanjay Reddy, pharmacologist and member of Telangana State Pharmacy Council, says, “If the vaccine is really what it is claimed to be, it will help the world but we need data in terms of efficacy, safety and trial results to understand its impact on the human race. The number of trials and the number of people are also very important. Take the case of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine where the trial on monkeys and the pre-clinical results are peer-reviewed and the data available for scrutiny. These are confidence- building measures in the scientific world as this vaccine is not for one set of people. It will be required for the world population.”
While one section of the medical and scientific fraternity is positive and keenly looking forward to the results of the vaccine, others are sceptical due to the lack of scientific information being given out by Russia.
R. Gangadhar, state convener of Breakthrough Science Society said, “We have to congratulate Russia for coming out with a vaccine so soon. The results on their human population will now be very important. The real benefit of the vaccine will be judged only when the worldwide populations benefit the same way as the populace of Russia. Due to demographic changes, there is always a concern as it has been frequently noted in the development of vaccines.”
Due to the pandemic threat, the vaccine development process which is otherwise 18 months is being cut short. But shortcuts are only for early development and cannot compromise on safety and efficacy, state experts....