Industry Association Calls Russian COVID-19 Vaccine A ‘Pandora’s Box’

New Delhi: The local association of multinational pharmaceutical companies says Russia’s hurry to allow civilian use of a potential COVID-19 vaccine even before its clinical trial could put people at risk.

The government is mulling to allow Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute-developed vaccine’s conditional registration by this week, which will open the door for civilian use. With only less than 100 people officially receiving the inoculation by early August, the Association of Clinical Trials Organisations said in a letter sent to Health Minister Mikhail Murashko on Monday that it could be dangerous.

“Why are all corporations following the rules, but Russian ones aren’t? The rules for conducting clinical trials are written in blood. They can’t be violated,” ACTO Executive Director Svetlana Zavidova was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters. “This is a Pandora’s Box and we don’t know what will happen to people injected with an unproven vaccine,” the association said.

The Gamaleya vaccine — being developed together with the Russian Direct Investment Fund — commenced Phase 3 testing last week. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Monday hoped that it will be registered “soon,” while one of his deputies chose to contradict. The production is likely to start next month while the Health Ministry said mass vaccinations could commence by October, the deputy said.

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