Every human life is precious and sacred and saving one is like the saving of the whole of humanity. (Al Quran 5:32/33)
Source: Washington Post
Not long ago, talk of the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine provoked mockery. “There’s no way in hell the U.S. tries this on monkeys, let alone people,” a Trump administration official told CNN in August, referring to initial reports about Russia’s development of the Sputnik V drug — which bypassed traditional steps in testing before its release. Even at home, where a history of political opacity and bureaucratic incompetence has left a lingering distrust of authority, many ordinary Russians shied away from getting the jab once it was made available to the public in December.
But now, Sputnik V — named after the world’s first satellite that saw the Soviets initially outpace the Americans in the space race — is starting to look like it could be a global success story. It got a boost last week after the respected British medical journal the Lancet published a peer-reviewed paper that found the vaccine had 91.6 percent efficacy 21 days after the first shot and 91.8 percent for those over 60 years old, placing it on par with the celebrated Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
More than a dozen countries have approved the vaccine for use, with more likely to follow now that it has received the Lancet’s seal of approval. Sputnik V is considerably cheaper than its Western competitors and does not require the same sort of ultracold storage infrastructure that would complicate distribution of the Pfizer vaccine in much of the developing world.
“This is a watershed moment for us,” Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the state-run Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is behind both Sputnik V’s development and its international rollout, told Bloomberg News.