GORKY, January 28. /TASS/. Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, has come out in favor of creating a pool of states manufacturing anti-coronavirus vaccines.
“I believe that the mutual recognition of vaccines is absolutely necessary. There is more I think any country producing a coronavirus vaccine – even if it’s not very effective – has the right to have it registered by the World Health Organization,” Medvedev said in an interview with Russian media. , including TASS.
According to him, “a pool of countries with mutual recognition of vaccines must be established”.
“In this case, people will have the ability to travel freely, especially as new variants [of the virus] continue to emerge,” he said.
According to him, the World Health Organization plays an important role in the issue of mutual recognition of vaccines, but “has not been able to cope with this task so far and does not have the powers needed in this area.
“Naturally, a serious international agreement in this area is necessary,” said the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council.
About the work of US Biological Laboratories
Medvedev is concerned about the threats emerging as a result of the work of US biological laboratories.
“There are a large number of organizations that can produce pathogens of all kinds, and this has already become a security issue. Such organizations existed in the past, they exist now, and the question is who runs them? , who controls them and how transparent their activities are,” Medvedev said in an interview with Russian media, including TASS.
“For example, our neighbors already host biological laboratories on their territory, with the participation of Americans and some other countries. But it is not a question of nationality. The question is that we do not know what it is exactly. And, due to a lack of information, we cannot rule out a situation where, to put it in legal terms, a supposedly excessive act [the commission of a crime more serious than was originally agreed upon by conspirators] can be committed, when something spirals out of control or is deliberately brought to life by a mad scientist,” he said. “This cannot be ruled out, as we all understand that viruses can be created artificially.
“The control of these activities and the respect of the convention on the prevention of biological threats are extremely important for humanity,” he added.
The registration offers, filed by two foreign manufacturers of anti-coronavirus vaccines
Registration offers, filed by two foreign manufacturers of coronavirus vaccines, are currently under consideration in Russia, said the vice president of the Russian Security Council.
“Regarding the presence of foreign vaccines in our market: no one bans them. Also, according to our regulations, a vaccine cannot come out of nowhere, because we have to make sure that it is not harmful , at the very least,” he said. “Therefore, a manufacturer must file an application [for reigistration].”
“And such applications have indeed been filed. As far as I know, AstraZeneca and a Chinese company have applied,” the official continued. “These applications are now under review and these vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials.”
Russia currently has six registered coronavirus vaccines: Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona, CoviVac, Sputnik Light, Sputnik M and EpiVacCorona-N. All are Russian-made.
In early January, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov told the media that it was up to the Health Ministry to decide whether or not to start production of foreign vaccines against the novel coronavirus in Russia for domestic use. The country’s industry is ready to start manufacturing them, if needed, he added.
Reasons for COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy in Russia
One of the reasons for the reluctance to vaccinate against COVID-19 in Russia is the general distrust of vaccination, developed during the difficult period of the 1990s, Medvedev said.
“Vaccination was compulsory during the Soviet period, and no one questioned the need to get vaccinated against measles or poliomyelitis,” he said. “Now there is no such understanding among people. Some feel that it is state imposed, that it is some kind of experiment, or microchipping, or ‘encoding, or other nonsense.”
He attributed this trend to the fact that “vaccination stopped almost completely in the 1990s”.
“There was no vaccination due to low funding and poor health care. As a result, a whole generation started to believe that vaccination is some kind of experiment, or maybe it’s just not necessary. And I think that’s bad,” Medvedev continued.
He stressed the need to promote vaccination and to explain the need for vaccination to the public.
Unfair competition against Russian Sputnik V
Medvedev sees unfair competition against Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V in the global market.
In an interview with Russian media, including TASS, Medvedev attributed the failure of the World Health Organization (WHO) to register the Russian vaccine to several factors.
“There are organizational problems, and our agencies should work more actively,” he admitted. “Such contacts are ongoing, and I hope that the registration process will be completed by WHO sooner or later.”
“But there are also political and, to put it bluntly, commercial factors,” he continued. “Indeed, everything that has happened in the world since the beginning of the pandemic was not only a huge challenge for humanity, not only a matter of life and death, but also a business opportunity for pharmaceutical companies and vaccine manufacturers. governments, which closely monitor and regulate this industry, are also involved. »
“It is a very large and profitable market. And naturally there is competition. In fact, competition is generally a good thing, but in this particular case it is a negative factor. It limits global travel and prevents effective vaccines from entering other markets.”
“When it comes to our Sputnik, I see this kind of unfair political and commercial competition,” he said.
When asked why Russia only promotes one vaccine internationally, namely Sputnik V, Medvedev replied: “There is only one simple reason to do so: this vaccine is very effective, and this has been proven in practice, using it against different strains of coronavirus. “
“Obviously there is always a feeling that if something is promoted by the state, or if something is available in large quantities, it is always worse than something in limited supply, something that is not not promoted. And, moreover, [it is thought to be] worse than any foreigner [rival]Medvedev continued. ” But this is not the case. Sputnik is really a very effective vaccine, which to a large extent is even more effective against the latest strain, which is Omicron,” he said.
He quoted researchers saying Sputnik V can be easily adjusted to various variants of the novel coronavirus.
“This type of work is ongoing, including with regard to Omicron,” he said, adding that inactivated virus vaccines such as CoviVac are less flexible in this regard.
The official also said that Russia does not have messenger RNA vaccines (mRNA vaccines) produced in the country, such as Pfizer or Moderna.
“This task must also be managed, because these vaccines have their own advantages and disadvantages. We are working in this direction,” Medvedev said.