(CNN) –– Russian officials in Moscow told CNN they offered to maintain “unprecedented cooperation” with the so-called Operation Warp Speed (OWS), the multi-agency White House body that was created to accelerate access to vaccines and treatments. effective against covid-19.
“There is a general sense of distrust of Russia on the American side and we believe that technologies – including vaccines, tests and treatments – are not being adopted in the United States because of that distrust,” a senior official told CNN. Russian.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday that the president Donald Trump has been informed about the new vaccine from Russia. McEnany added that American vaccines go through “rigorous” phase 3 testing and high standards.
Other US officials told CNN that the Russian vaccine is considered so poorly manufactured in the US that it did not even attract serious interest before its launch. “There is no way the United States will test this (Russian) vaccine in monkeys, much less people,” said a US government public health official.
Russia announced this Tuesday who had developed a coronavirus vaccine, and President Vladimir Putin said his own daughter had received it. But the tests have not yet been completed and some experts are skeptical on the claims about it.
The race to find an effective vaccine against COVID-19 – there are more than 20 in clinical trials around the world – has global implications, not only for the health of billions of people, but also possible billions revenue to the successful developer and manufacturer.
Russia Says US Companies Interested
Russian officials told CNN that Russia is open to sharing information about the vaccine and that it would allow American pharmaceutical companies to produce the Russian vaccine in the United States.
CNN previously reported that Russia claims that some US pharmaceutical companies are interested in learning about the Russian vaccine, although the names of those companies have not been released.
Following the US rejection, Russian sources said Washington should “seriously consider adoption” of the vaccine, telling CNN that the Russian vaccine against coronavirus Sputnik V, recently passed, could save American lives.
“If our vaccine proves to be one of the most effective, there will be questions about why the United States did not explore this option in depth, why did it politics got in the way of access to a vaccine, “a senior Russian official told CNN.
CNN reached out to the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and Operation Warp Speed for comment.
Russia’s sovereign wealth fund indicated at a press conference on Tuesday that at least 20 Latin American countries, Middle East and Asia have expressed interest in the vaccine. In particular, the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, maintained that he has so much confidence in the vaccine that he will take when he arrives in his country, and the Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico said Thursday that the country is “in talks” with Russia about the vaccine.
No information on vaccine testing has been published
Russia’s vaccine was developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute and approved by the government before beginning the crucial Phase 3 trials, in which it would be administered to thousands of people. Kirill Dmitriev, director of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announced earlier this week that Phase 3 trials of the vaccine would begin this Wednesday in the country.
However, Russia has not released any scientific information about the vaccine trials and CNN cannot verify the safety or efficacy of the vaccine.
A senior US official and a government adviser told CNN there are no samples obtained from the recently announced Russian vaccine in the possession of the US government.
“They have enough infections now in Russia to be able to do clinical trials, but they don’t seem to have done it on a large enough scale,” said the government adviser who spoke to CNN on condition of not being identified. “There have been no clinical trials of this vaccine. They have done very little work in humans to decide if it works on a larger scale. We are talking about totally inadequate security data.
Russia enacted a law last April that removed the requirement to conduct phase 3 clinical trials prior to approval of a vaccine. This has allowed researchers to speed up the development process.
“There is a whole discussion about the Emergency Use Authorization: in the case of a pandemic, there are several points where you could make a judgment to say that the potential benefits of this vaccine outweigh the risks, so we granted the Authorization of Use Emergency to get it approved quickly. That is basically what Russia just did. It is the surprise in October that we all fear, “explained the senior US official.
But in the end, the risks are too great. The setback in this country would be horrible, “added the senior US official.
A senior former US government official called the Russian vaccine “a joke,” adding that Russia did not complete all three phases of clinical trials, so no one – nor the World Health Organization Nor is the United States taking it too seriously. The source went on to add that China it is “much closer to winning the vaccine race.”
US government officials and advisers told CNN they believe China is much more serious and responsible with its own trials. “China is really looking forward to joining the world of normal response and regulation, and they are trying to do so,” said one official.
US sources noted that they believe that the only reason Russia is doing this is to gain an advantage, primarily in hopes of exchanging it for strategic assets. Putin, like Trump, is under significant pressure to demonstrate formidable efforts to defeat the virus.
“No one will dare to question him (Putin), and the Russian standards of effectiveness do not match those of the United States,” said a former official.
This story was reported and written by Matthew Chance and Zahra Ullah in Moscow, and Vivian Salama in Washington City.