World Brazil regulator rejects Sputnik vaccine; Russia cries foul
NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for April 17, 2021
Players in the protocol are: Colorado's Bowen Byram, Philipp Grubauer and Joonas Donskoi; Edmonton's Dmitry Kulikov; Los Angeles' Matt Roy; Montreal's Jon Merrill and Erik Gustafsson; Philadelphia's Jackson Cates; Toronto's Nick Foligno, Riley Nash and Ben Hutton; and Vancouver's Nate Schmidt and Jake Virtanen. Read more here.APRIL 15The NHL has confirmed that the Vancouver Canucks will not return to play from their lengthy COVID-19 pause Friday night versus the Edmonton Oilers as originally hoped.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's health regulator cited safety concerns while rejecting several states' requests to import almost 30 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, prompting criticism from the Russian government.
The five-person board of the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency unanimously decided late Monday that consistent and trustworthy data required was lacking for approval of the requests from 10 states, according to a statement. Another four states and two cities have also sought authorization to import the vaccine.
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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Victor Guevara knows people his age have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in many countries. His own relatives in Houston have been inoculated. But the 72-year-old Honduran lawyer, like so many others in his country, is still waiting. And increasingly, he is wondering why the United States is not doing more to help, particularly as the American vaccine supply begins to outpace demand and doses that have been approved for use elsewhere in the world, but not in the U.S., sit idle. “We live in a state of defenselessness on every level,” Guevara said of the situation in his Central American homeland.
The agency, known as Anvisa, said there were faults in all clinical studies of the vaccine’s development, as well as absent or insufficient data.
The agency statement said that analysis indicated that the adenovirus on which the vaccine is based has the capacity to replicate, which could cause sickness or death, particularly among those with low immunity or respiratory problems. The Russian fund overseeing the vaccine's marketing globally denied the claim.
“We will never permit, without the existence of due proof required, millions of Brazilians to be exposed to products without the due proof of their quality, safety and efficacy or, at minimum, in the face of the grave situation that we’re living through, a favorable cost-benefit relationship,” Anvisa’s president Antônio Barra Torres said in the statement.
Russia's Sputnik V developers reject Brazil's criticisms
Russia's Sputnik V developers reject Brazil's criticismsMOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian developers of Sputnik V rejected Brazil's criticisms of the COVID-19 shot, saying on Tuesday that its refusal to approve the vaccine for use was not justified on scientific grounds.
Anvisa’s decision doesn’t affect a separate request from Brazilian company Uniao Quimica for emergency use authorization of Sputnik V produced locally, according to an emailed statement from Anvisa’s press office.
Still, it came as a blow to Russia’s efforts to promote worldwide adoption of the vaccine, whose exports have helped it.
“We need additional information on what this lack (of data) means, because there’s already more than enough data," Kremlin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a daily briefing.
“The contacts (with Brazil) will continue. If some data is lacking, it will be provided,” he added.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund said in a three-page statement that “no replication-competent adenoviruses were ever found in any of the Sputnik V vaccine batches produced.”
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A report published by the strategic communications branch of the EU's external action service accused Russia of using "antagonistic messaging" and spreading fake news claiming that other nations are trying to undermine the shot, which has not yet been approved for use in Europe. Your browser does not support this video The report also found that through social media and various news outlets, Russia has attempted to "undermine public trust" in the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Europe's main drug and vaccine regulator.
It was also more pointed in its criticism, saying that dozens of national health regulators have approved Sputnik V and Anvisa's decision was “of a political nature and has nothing to do with the regulator’s access to information or science.”
The fund pointed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ 2020 annual report, which said in a section titled “Combatting malign influences in the Americas” that it had convinced Brazil to not to buy the Russian shot. The U.S. Embassy in Brazil has denied exerting any pressure regarding vaccines approved by Brazil’s health regulator, and Brazil's foreign ministry has denied being contacted.
Daniel Dourado, a Brazilian doctor and lawyer who is a researcher at the University of Sao Paulo, said on Twitter that he doubted politics played any role in Anvisa's decision, as that would have required its directors to lie in their analysis. He added that, while the state governors’ hurry is understandable, Anvisa is correctly fulfilling its duty.
Brazil hasn't lived up to its proud tradition of mass vaccination programs in this pandemic, with the Health Ministry ignoring early opportunities to purchase shots and facing shortages locally of vaccines it did acquire. The country has the world's second-highest death toll, and will surpass the milestone of 400,000 deaths this week. The majority of that staggering tally came in just the last four months.
One of Anvisa’s directors, Cristiane Rose Jourdan Gomes, acknowledged the sensitivity of its decision since making available an array of vaccines is a priority in fighting COVID-19. She said she hopes Sputnik V can bring its information in line with requirements.
Denise Garrett, vice president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute that advocates for expanding global vaccine access, and who is Brazilian herself, also voiced support of Anvisa on Twitter.
“There is no way to approve Sputnik V with the information available at the moment,” she said. --- AP reporter Daria Litvinova contributed from Moscow
Russia's Single-Dose Sputnik Vaccine Gets Approval Without Completing Safety Testing .
Studies on human trials of Sputnik Light are still underway and the dose is the same as Sputnik V's first dose.Under Russian authorities' approval, the new Sputnik Light vaccine will be marketed and given separately alongside the country's existing COVID-19 vaccines. Human testing of Sputnik Light began in January.