Monday, March 08, 2021

Vaccine race: 400 questions (and counting) on why Russia's 92% Sputnik V is still not in Malaysia

MALAYSIA signed a deal with Russia for the Sputnik V in January. The agreement, witnessed by our Health Minister Adham Baba, was a "first step in establishing full-fledged bilateral cooperation which does not just include shipments of the Russian vaccine but also creates Malaysia's own scientific and research base to produce 9it in the country". 

Sounds great, right?  Except, nothing has come out of it. Representatives of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) have been heard complaining that they have been given the run around. We've heard jokes about Russian spies interrogating and torturing their enemies but in the case of trying to supplying the vaccines to Malaysia, it is the Russians who are the subject of interrogation (and, presumably, torture). 

KJ: It's all about "efficacy and safety"

De facto minister for vaccination Khairy Jamaluddin's tongue-in-cheek, when he mentioned the NPRA's asking "300 questions at one go" in a statement recently, is not lost as the industry has been talking about those nerds upping the ante ever since with over 400 questions - and counting!

The question is, how many questions - and how much longer - do you need to determine the efficacy and safety of a vaccine? Refer BBC's report on Sputnik V's 92% efficacy in Feb.

While Malaysia makes it utterly difficult for the Russians to supply them their vaccines, some countries will have to wait longer than expected for their Sputnik V as Moscow struggles to meet orders from over 50 countries from Latin America, Europe and West Asia. 

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