A group of international scientists questioned results from a study of Russia’s fast-moving coronavirus vaccine that were published in the Lancet medical journal, saying some of the findings appeared improbable.
The researchers flagged concerns over seemingly identical levels of antibodies in a number of study participants who were inoculated with the experimental vaccine. This and other patterns in the data present “several different points of concern,” according to an open letter written by Temple University professor Enrico Bucci and signed by more than a dozen other scientists.
Russia is sticking with a plan to begin vaccinating health workers next month, even as another candidate in late stage testing suffered a setback. AstraZeneca Plc stopped giving shots this week of its experimental coronavirus vaccine after a person participating in one of the company’s studies got sick.
“Sputnik is a human vaccine, while AstroZeneca’s is a monkey vaccine,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday on a conference call. “Our scientists believe that the human vaccine is much more reliable in this regard.”
(Updates with Gamaleya statement, phase 3 testing from fifth paragraph)