U.K. media reports that Russia’s Sputnik V was allegedly based on research from the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is another fake news and blatant lie based on anonymous sources.
The story, originated by The Sun tabloid, is pushed by those opposing the success of one of the world’s most effective and safe vaccines against COVID-19 and we find such attacks highly unethical as they undermine the global vaccination effort.
They also make absolutely no sense scientifically as Sputnik V and AstraZeneca use different platforms.
Sputnik V is based on a well-studied human adenoviral platform whose efficacy and safety have been proven over decades. Developers of Sputnik V, the Gamaleya Center, used the same human adenoviral platform for their earlier groundbreaking research over the years, including vaccines against Ebola in 2017 and MERS in 2019, to quickly develop Russia’s vaccine against COVID-19.
In contrast, AstraZeneca uses chimpanzee adenoviral vector for its vaccine rather than the human vector used by Sputnik V.
In addition, the Russian vaccine coronavirus Gamaleya Center is unique among all vaccines against COVID in using heterogenous boosting (two different vectors, Ad26 and Ad5, for the two shots to achieve stronger and longer-lasting immunity) or mix-and-match combo approach, while AstraZeneca uses one and the same vector twice.
Unlike for some other vaccines in use today, Sputnik V has excellent safety profile with very few serious adverse events reported vs other vaccines and no cases of myocarditis or cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT).
It is also important to note that the Sputnik V team and AstraZeneca are conducting joint clinical trials in partnership on the combo use of the two vaccines and have released information on safety and efficacy. That offer was extended to AstraZeneca last November to help it boost its efficacy and launched the world’s first mix-and-match trials of anti-COVID vaccines.
Rather than spreading fake stories, the UK media and government services should better protect the reputation of AstraZeneca, a safe and efficient vaccine that is constantly attacked by competitors in the media with facts taken out of context.
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