• This topic has 23 replies, 10 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by bimber.
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    • #3682

      neb
      Participant

      Personally, I don’t care who finds a vaccine as long as they play nicely and share.

      https://uk.news.yahoo.com/russia-approves-first-covid-19-085650151.html

    • #3683

      freddo
      Participant

      More to the point……..do you want to try it? I think I will wait until a phase 3 trial as been done.

    • #3684

      chrisr
      Participant

      I bet Putin doesn’t have it until a few million others have.

    • #3685

      chrisr
      Participant

      I trust the Oxford researchers but I don’t trust Putin. It’s entirely feasible Russia does have one and it works, but I think I would go with the British approach on the required level of trialling.

      • #3686

        bimber
        Participant

        The “British approach on the required level of trialling” is actually not renowned for putting patient safety first, at least when compared to the rest of Europe. What it is good at is that the process is streamlined and quick, even if that means deliberately taking more risks than countries like Germany: There is a reason why the disastrous TGN1412 trial was run in the UK, even though the candidate drug itself was developed in Germany.

        In contrast, running trials in Germany is IMO much too focussed on safety and saddled with regulatory hoops you have to jump through even though they seem to have no obvious benefit (except that regulators approving a trial can point at the paperwork when something went wrong, having covered their collective arses…).

        Such differences are perfectly fine, all drug trial and licensing protocols involve a trade-off of risks, and a country / oversight agency has to choose where it places its emphasis. That will even vary with the disease in question, or do you believe that the Ebola vaccines rushed to the last outbreak in the DRC were subjected to the exact same long winded testing protocols as, say, a new meningitis vaccine given pre-emptively to university students?

        I certainly would not dismiss a Russian made vaccine, the level of science at their top universities is readily comparable with ours.

        • #3687

          chrisr
          Participant

          I would expect that they do have a workable vaccine, probably at a similar stage to Oxford. However I just don’t trust Putin not to force the cutting of more levels of trials than the UK would in order to get it out more quickly.

        • #3688

          sammo
          Participant

          It’s not the quality of Russian science that worries me, it’s the quality control on the large-scale industrial production downstream of the scientists.

          • #3689

            bimber
            Participant

            Any evidence of Russian made vaccines (which are widely used all over the world except in the EU and US) having a bad track record?

            The vaccine safety incidents that I am aware of* all concerned American products, starting with SV40 virus contamination in the 1950s and 60s Sabin and Salk polio vaccines.

            * I am a biologist but not an immunologist or vaccine expert, so I am happy to be corrected on that issue

          • #3690

            sammo
            Participant

            No, but I am aware of severe QC issues in many other parts of Russian industry, and my default setting is not to trust anything produced under a government so corrupt. That gets ratcheted right up to 11 with a rush like this. This isn’t an us vs them sentiment by any means – Boeing have made it exceptionally clear in both aviation and space recently that crony capitalism is no better…

        • #3691

          carl0
          Participant

          I certainly would not dismiss a Russian made vaccine, the level of science at their top universities is readily comparable with ours.

          That’s not the point. Without wide scale phase 3 tests you simply don’t know how its going to operate in the wider world.

          I’ve respect for Russian scientists, but not their politics nor, as others have said, their industrial QC.

          I’d wait to see how their trials go in Brazil.

        • #3692

          freddo
          Participant

          The amusing thing is that various countries including the UK beat Russia handsdown in developing a vaccine to the same point as the Russians.But others have followed protocol and gone on to the next stage, which the Russians have chosen to ignore.

          • #3693

            bimber
            Participant

            And which US and EU companies and licensing bodies similarly ignored in case of the “experimental” Ebola vaccines. The rules are not natural laws, governments have to weigh to which extent they enforce them rigourusly or grant exceptions from case to case.

            Most components of the Russian vaccine will have been tested thoroughly with other viral antigens (possibly even SARS classic), so safety is not that much of an issue (for the same reason at least one of the two German vaccines has entered mass production even before the final validation and licensing). They will also have sufficient data on efficacy that allowed them to make the judgement that abbreviating stage III makes sense under the circumstances of this specific pandemic. They certainly will not want to be caught with their pants down in case their vaccine turns out to be useless or dangerous, much too embarassing.

            So to answer the question raised somewhere upthread of whether I would take the Russian vaccine: Not in my current circumstances, as my exposure risk and personal risk factors are far too low. Then If I had to travel e.g. to the US or Brazil for work, absolutely! Would I advise my elderly parents to get it? Difficult to say, would need to read on the vaccine in more detail.

            Also, I will certainly not rush to be at the front of the queue for the first western vaccines to enter the market (same as for my annual flu shots, which I try to get as late as is sensible).

          • #3707

            raaar
            Participant

            I admire your trust in the Russians. For myself, not so much.

          • #3708

            bimber
            Participant

            The issue about most components being tested previously and recycled for a new antigen is behind all the “platform” vaccines that are in late stages trials world wide.

            Otherwise, from my experience of living in the UK I am still rather afraid of the NHS. Anything serious? Hop a plane back to the continent!

            I am sure a UK made vaccine, when it comes out, will be perfectly fine as well.

            Would I rather be treated for Covid in a UK or German hospital, though? Not even close!

            I therefore find the disparaging comments on this thread towards Soviet/Russian medicine rather weird.

            As I said above, show me one vaccination f*ckup linked to Eastern block made vaccines, which have for decades been used world wide with the exception of Europe and the US, that goes above the issues caused by the supposedly superior western products.

            The last one I am aware off is a potential link between childhood narcolepsy (presumably caused by the autoimmune destruction of certain neurons) and the Pandemrix H1N1 flu vaccine (or more likely the adjuvant used in that vaccine) from 2009. That vaccine was made by GSK, not some supposedly dodgy Russian company.

          • #3709

            blob
            Participant

            You do know that the U.K. vaccines are already in production so as to reduce time delays.

            Even the Chinese who have more to gain by going early have not done so. Sensible.

            And the Russian data is apparently on 76 people so far. Hardly encouraging.

          • #3710

            bimber
            Participant

            I did not know that about the UK vaccines, but I already pointed this out for one of the German ones (Curevac). However, this merely reinforces my point: Everyone (including regulators) is 100% confident that their vaccines are safe (because they are platform based and almost all components have been tested in other contexts), and the companies are sufficiently sure that they will eventually also be proven effective that they are willing to bet hundreds of millions of Euros/pounds on pre-licensing production.

            The question then is whether for each country it makes more sense to move “testing” to a live vaccination campaign, or to play it safe for a while longer. That will depend on the nature of the disease, the course of the epidemic in each country, how long you can afford trying to mitigate the economic and social effects of the pandemic, etc.

            Again, as an extreme example, Ebola was killing health workers in Liberia and the DRC at a rate that vaccines and drugs were rushed out at a stage that would normally be considered experimental. It is always a tradeoff.

          • #3712

            blob
            Participant

            You have not really answered my point on the Chinese who are following the same protocols as us.

            and in the U.K. what has happened is that U.K. Gov has preplaced orders on about 3/4 vaccines. It’s gov taking the risk not the pharmas.A bit different to what you are suggesting.

          • #3713

            bimber
            Participant

            What do the Chinese want? AFAIU their economy is largely up and running, and primarily requires business in more severely affected countries to recover. No need for them to end the pandemic early. Possibly different in Russia.

            The orders will only be fulfilled and paid if the product is eventually licensed. If there is no regulatory clearance for whatever reason, the companies will have to bin the stock. Even if the government paid regardless, then it is the government willing to take that bet, no difference for the argument.

    • #3694

      Ian
      Participant

      “The vaccine, which will be called “Sputnik V” in homage to the world’s first satellite launched by the Soviet Union,”

      It’s good to see that the UK doesn’t have a monopoly on jingoism. I’m sure there are those who would love to name a UK made vaccine ‘Spitfire’.

    • #3711

      raaar
      Participant

      My recollections of Russian technology development are that politicians seem to put too much pressure on scientists and technologists when they want to get a result.

      Do you think that the decision to start using a vaccine on the general population earlier than any other country has thought it safe was one taken by scientists or politicians.

      • #3714

        bimber
        Participant

        Government/regulatory agencies, obviously, like anywhere. It is their bloody job to make those decisions, not that of scientists.

        • #3715

          raaar
          Participant

          OK, I’ll put it another way.

          If it was your decision would you have released that vaccine without more tests?

    • #3716

      tired
      Participant

      They won’t give it to the general population.

      They know the demographic of the people at risk of dying.

      We don’t give the flu vaccine to the general population.

    • #3717

      bimber
      Participant

      Does anyone of you guys pontificating on here actually have any f*cking clue about Russian science? I do, my last few papers were published in cooperation with excellent colleagues at two Russian universities or research institutions. Of course they have ethics committees and study protocols, too. Even if guys like you distrust anything from Russia out of principle, Russian pharma companies normally plan on selling their stuff aborad as well.

      You remind me of these American high school students who called me a liar for claiming that we had electricity in Germany back in 1985: Couldn’t possibly be true, no photo of my home town had any pole mounted transformers or wire salad above the streets…..

      The question in this case is whether one should stick to the usual protocol or whether the ministry of health (or whoever) should overrule the usual process (that is bound to be little different from ours) and grant emergency licenses for the vaccination of specific groups.

      As RR6 wrote above, countries like the US and quite possibly the UK may soon also be forced to start rolling out vaccines for key workers ahead of full licensing as well.

      Brazil would be better off following this route, too, but they are f*cked with Bolsonaro in power. In any case, there is a country with amazing ethics regulations: I know several guys from European universities moving from a novel treatment for lung inflammation in pig models straight to experimental treatments in humans by offering their experimental therapy to patients from favelas in RDJ who sniffed too much glue or solvent, and would otherwise not get treated at all due to a lack of insurance.

      This is all above board, covered by an official cooperation and an ethics permit held by a large Rio hospital. Hard to imagine, though, that you could get a Russian regulatory agency to agree to a stunt like that.

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