Sputnik-V: Top Russian doctor exposes ‘gross violations’, quits health ministry

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Russia may have become the world’s first country to register the novel corona virus for COVID-19 vaccine, but health agencies and experts around the world continue to cast doubt on the vaccine’s effectiveness and safety.

Adding to the list of controversies surrounding the Russian vaccine, is a resignation from within the country’s Health Ministry. Russia’s top respiratory doctor, Professor Alexander Chuchalin has quit the Russian Ministry of Health over ‘gross violations’ of medical ethics in relation to ‘Sputnik-V.’

According to sources, Russia’s top pulmonologist had objected to the violations during the vaccine’s development process and even tried to block the Sputnik V registration on ‘safety grounds.’

Chuchalin left the Russian health ministry’s ethics council as the Russian government dismissed his objections and went forward with the vaccine.

He specifically identified and accused two leading doctors involved in the development of the vaccine for violating scientific ethics during the process. The two doctors he named are Professor Alexander Gintsburg, Gamaleya Research Center’s director and Professor Sergey Borisevich, Russia ‘s leading virology expert. The two researchers spearheaded the mission to find a new ‘world-beating vaccine.’

In an interview following his resignation, he questioned the team behind Sputnik-V:

Professor Alexander Chuchalin Image
Professor Alexander Chuchalin

“Have you passed all the necessary paths approved by Russian Federation legislation and the international scientific community? In the case of a drug or vaccine, we, as ethical reviewers should, first of all understand how safe it is for humans.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on August 11 that it has successfully registered the country’s first indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine in the world. He added that the vaccination known as ‘Sputnik-V’ has proved to be effective during training, with one of his daughters already being administered a dose.

It should be noted that the government led by President Vladimir Putin has moved forward with the production of the vaccine without completing the critical Phase 3 trials, in which the medicine’s side effects and immune system response are tested on volunteers.

Curiously, Russia is also yet to make any scientific articles relating to the vaccine public.