The Minister of Health today shared the reservations of the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the vaccine for covid-19 announced by Russia, saying that “safety and effectiveness” cannot be sacrificed in the name of speed.
“It is very important to speed up the research process in relation to the discovery of an effective vaccine, but in this process, we cannot sacrifice either safety or therapeutic efficacy,” said Marta Temido at the pandemic follow-up press conference.
The minister indicated that with regard to the Sputnik V vaccine, the first for covid-19 to be announced, “there are facts that have been reported, that phase 3 [of testing in the community] may not have been fully completed”.
On the other hand, “no one is available to waste the opportunity to have an instrument that helps to respond to this disease”, he admitted.
Marta Temido stated that the Portuguese medicine regulatory authority (Infarmed) is “working with the European Medicines Agency, integrated in a competent, trained network and with all the means at its disposal to ensure that Portugal is among the countries that will have access what will become an effective vaccine for covid-19 ”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) received with caution on Tuesday the news that Russia registered the world’s first vaccine against covid-19, stressing that it must follow the defined prequalification and review procedures.
“Accelerating progress should not mean compromising security,” said WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic at a press conference, adding that the organization is in contact with Russian and other authorities to analyze the progress of different investigations. relatively ongoing vaccines.
The Russian vaccine, whose registration was announced Tuesday by Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a meeting with the cabinet of ministers, was not among the six that WHO said last week were more advanced.
The Geneva-based organization cited, among the six, three vaccine candidates developed by Chinese laboratories, two from the United States (from the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna) and the British one developed by AstraZeneca in collaboration with the University of Oxford.
According to Putin, the Russian vaccine is “effective”, has passed all the necessary tests and makes it possible to achieve “stable immunity” against covid-19, and is expected to enter into circulation as of 1 January 2021.
However, many scientists, at home and abroad, questioned the decision to register the vaccine before the scientists completed the so-called Phase 3 study.
This phase usually takes several months and involves thousands of people and is the only way to prove that the experimental vaccine is safe and works.