“It’s a very unscientific tabloid”: Kremlin rejects The Sun’s information on Russia’s “theft” of the AstraZeneca formula

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The publication of The Sun in which it is stated that the Russian vaccine Sputnik V against the coronavirus would be based on a stolen formula of the vaccine from the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical AstraZeneca should not be taken seriously, due to the “very unscientific” nature of tabloid, asserted this Monday the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitri Peskov.

“The Sun newspaper is a newspaper well known for being very unscientific. This is how we treat its publications,” Peskov said.

For its part, from the Gamaleya Center, which developed the Russian vaccine, they denied the accusations of The Sun, pointing out that such “unethical” attacks undermine global vaccination efforts.

Likewise, in their statement the creators of Sputnik V emphasize that the Russian vaccine and AstraZeneca are based on different platformswith Sputnik V being a human adenoviral vaccine, while AstraZeneca’s drug uses the chimpanzee adenoviral vector platform. At the same time, they specify that the Gamaleya Center already had used this same platform successfully in previous research, such as Ebola vaccines in 2017 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2019.

“Furthermore, the Russian vaccine is unique among all covid-19 vaccines because it uses a heterogeneous impulse (two different vectors, Ad26 and Ad5, for the two doses in order to achieve more powerful and long-lasting immunity) or the mix and match approach, whereas AstraZeneca uses a single vector or the same vector twice, “reads the statement.

On October 10, the tabloid The Sun public an article, in which he cites his own sources, claiming that Russia “stole” the AstraZeneca vaccine formula, to later use it for the development of Sputnik V. According to The Sun, the data on the AstraZeneca vaccine would have been stolen by a foreign agent and, supposedly, later used for the creation of the Russian vaccine.

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