In foreign and some Russian-language publications, publications appeared about the alleged shortcomings of the Sputnik V vaccine and doubts about its effectiveness. Doctors are confident that such a discrediting of our vaccine is beneficial to global pharmaceutical companies, which saw a strong competitor in the world market in the Russian vaccine against COVID.
American billionaire Bill Gates on Tuesday made a speech on the global coronavirus vaccine race, in which he is directly involved in financing. “I expect about six vaccines to be approved in the first quarter,” Gates shared his forecast with attendees at the FinTech festival in Singapore.
In addition to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine already approved in the West, Gates named drugs from Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Novavax. All these companies are American, only one is Anglo-Swedish. The billionaire did not mention Sputnik V, which turned out to be the world's first officially registered vaccine. In Russia, at the end of last week, vaccination of the most at-risk groups of citizens, primarily doctors and teachers, began with this drug.
Last week, the UK authorities were the first Western countries to approve the massive use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. On Monday, the kingdom began to inject her into nursing home residents. The US authorities promise to allow mass vaccinations with this drug on Thursday. At the same time, it became known on Tuesday that 0.6% of volunteers vaccinated with the vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, which Gates mentioned, had serious side effects. This was reported by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
As for Sputnik V, it became known last week that Brussels is not even considering an application from the creators of our vaccine from the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for permission to sell the drug in the EU. Experts believe that the European bureaucracy will delay the process of its recognition as much as possible.
At the same time, a series of materials appeared in Western and Russian opposition publications in which doubts about the reliability of Sputnik V were persistently expressed and, at the same time, similar American developments were covered in a complimentary style. As you know, the Russian vaccine has become a direct competitor to the products of Western companies Pfizer and Moderna. So, the BBC released on its website material about the "race" of three vaccines against coronavirus. British journalists described the Pfizer drug as a tool that could save the world from a pandemic by next winter. At the same time, a rather negative tone was chosen to describe "Sputnik V".
The US-funded Radio Liberty (included in the Russian Federation in the register of foreign agents) has also previously released a number of materials criticizing Sputnik V, including, for example, an interview with the Czech virologist Ruth Takhezi. She expressed concern for the health of those who decide to be vaccinated with this drug.
Opposition Russian publications also present any Western vaccine as reliable. They are especially sympathetic to the development of Pfizer. But in reality, Pfizer has been seen in scandals more than once, which pro-Western media now prefer not to mention.
“This is both commercial and political history.
There is an ancient bad feeling - envy. And now they just envy us that we were the first to create this vaccine,”
- said Vladimir Dzhabarov, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs. In his opinion, the campaign to discredit Sputnik was also spurred on by the factor that about 50 countries have already expressed interest in purchasing it and Moscow expresses its readiness to supply technologies and produce the drug on their territory. “Of course, the directors of Western pharmaceutical companies are afraid. They do not want to concede even a small part of the sales markets to such a serious competitor as Russia,”the senator noted.
“I spoke with representatives of the RDIF, specialists from the Gamaleya Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology.According to the testimony of doctors, anticoid vaccines are now needed by mankind in different ways. And it doesn't matter in which country they are created, as long as they are safe and effective. One power, no matter how powerful it may be, cannot cover the global need for a vaccine,”Jabarov stressed. Against this background, according to him, the methods of competition used by global pharmaceutical concerns look especially ugly: "Unlike Western vaccine creators, we did not discredit anyone, did not try to portray anyone as cheaters."
“And if competitors fail to reasonably criticize Sputnik, then it is simply hushed up, as Bill Gates did - in his speech at the Singapore festival. In listing the vaccines the world hopes for, the billionaire did not mention Sputnik V. It was difficult to expect anything else from Gates as from the imaginary "benefactor of humanity" and "great friend" of our country, "the senator said.
Dzhabarov was not surprised by the tone of publications in Russian opposition publications, fanning doubts about the effectiveness of the domestic vaccine. “It is clear that such publications are working off Western grants. They cannot live without it: they must say “black” to “white” and vice versa,”the senator lamented. "But sooner or later the wheat from the chaff will be separated in this story."
Nikolai Briko, the chief freelance epidemiologist of the Russian Ministry of Health, is also convinced that now a struggle is unfolding between vaccine manufacturers for the markets of third world countries: "Africa and Southeast Asia also need vaccination." “No matter what Russia does, and even more so before others in the world, every time they try to find weak points and even discredit. Vaccine development is no exception. The Western pharmaceutical business cannot accept the fact that Sputnik V has become the very first registered vaccine in the world,”Briko said.
According to him, the Western press for the most part expresses skepticism about much that is being done in Russia against the backdrop of a pandemic, including many drugs, drugs, clinical diagnostic systems. “Sometimes, perhaps, publications do this to please the interests of the pharmaceutical lobby, and sometimes simply to attract attention to themselves with“sensational”materials,” the source said.
“Our opposition publications write that as a result of vaccination, some Russians have allegedly already had complications. We need to sort out such publications somehow. The media that post unverified and distorted information should be held responsible for this, says Briko. - We have entered a form of a new Cold War, when many attacks against our country sound in all directions. Vaccination is one of those pain points where they try to discriminate against us."
“At the same time, Western countries have already begun to use their vaccine, for example in England, although in fact it does not fully meet all the requirements. In Russia, work also proceeded at an accelerated pace, and the government allowed an accelerated registration in the current epidemic situation. However, this was not done at the expense of security. Everything has been carefully checked and researched, the vaccine is safe,”the source said.
Briko recalled that a large-scale vaccination with Sputnik V has already begun in Russia, and in the meantime a vaccine of another class, EpiVacCorona, is already ready. “She was registered in October. And this is great! We can use each of them correctly. In addition, other vaccines are being developed in Russia, for example, at the Chumakov Center,”emphasized the chief freelance epidemiologist of the Ministry of Health.
Meanwhile, the Russian vaccine continues to make its way to the world market. As RDIF reported on Tuesday, its production has already been technically set up on the territory of Ukraine. The production facilities of the pharmaceutical company "Biolek" are ready for this.True, now, as the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said, everything depends on the political decision of the leadership of the neighboring country.
And the head of RDIF, Kirill Dmitriev, announced positive changes "in the position of foreign colleagues, in particular from the European Union." According to him, it is possible to produce the Sputnik V vaccine on the territory of an EU member state for subsequent deliveries outside the European market. “The vaccine partnership is the only successful way to overcome the pandemic,” recalled Dmitriev.