Scientists Suspect The Trial Result Data Of Russia's COVID-19 Vaccine To Be Unreal

Dhir Acharya - Sep 11, 2020


Scientists Suspect The Trial Result Data Of Russia's COVID-19 Vaccine To Be Unreal

Scientists in Italy have signed an open letter to question the result data of Sputnik V's trial results. What does Russia have to say in response?

Twenty-six scientists, including may working at universities in Italy, have all signed an open letter that questions the reliability of the data in the early-stage trial results of Sputnik V, Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine and also the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine to be released.

Previously, Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute published the early-stage trial results of the vaccine in the international peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet. Talking to the editor of the journal, the scientists said that they spotted patterns that looked “highly unlikely.”

Sputnik V
Sputnik V

The letter wrote the data of Phase-1 and phase-2 trial results showed that several participants had the same antibody levels.

“On the ground of simple probabilistic evaluations the fact of observing so many data points preserved among different experiments is highly unlikely.”

It’s worth noting that the scientists made these observations based on the summaries of the result data published in the journal, not the original result data. The letter said:

“In lack of the original numerical data, no conclusions can be definitively drawn on the reliability of the data presented, especially regarding the apparent duplications detected.”

Sputnik V
Sputnik V

The Gamaleya Institute rejected the critique. The institute deputy director Denis Logunov stated that the published results are accurate and authentic, which were examined by 5 reviewers from The Lancet. He added that the institute submitted all the original data to the journal.

“We presented specifically the data that was produced (by the trial), not the data that is supposed to please Italian experts.”

At the same time, a peer reviewer of the Russian data, Deputy Director Naor Bar-Zeev at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, defended his analysis, saying:

“Science must maintain a balance between incredulity, skepticism and trust. That trust is borne out through plausibility, repeatability and falsifiability. The results are plausible, and not very different to those seen with other AdV vectored products.”

>>> Russia's COVID-19 Vaccine Released To The Public, Starts Trial In India This Month

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