Russia on Tuesday claimed to be the first country in the world to register a coronavirus vaccine, but Johns Hopkins University professor of health policy Dr. Marty Makary is skeptical of the legitimacy surrounding their clinical testing process.
“Don’t jump on a plane and go to Russia to try to get this vaccine,” Makary, a Fox News medical contributor, told listeners of the “Fox News Rundown” podcast on Thursday.
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President Vladimir Putin claimed Tuesday that the new vaccine has been approved and is safe for use, but the benchmarks required to meet for a vaccine approval in Russia are far fewer than those in the United States, Makary warned.
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“It’s basically the equivalent of a Phase I trial approval when they say they’ve approved the medication,” he said. “It’s really based on very little data. I don’t think we can tolerate that in the United States in terms of safety and efficacy profile.”
Russia has vowed to win the race in the development of a safe and effective vaccine as part of what Makary called “a publicity campaign.”
“They’re calling it their Sputnik moment…to say that ‘we’re the first in the world to approve a vaccine,’ even though it’s based on the equivalent of a little bit of data,” he explained.
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Makary argued that the United States has already begun a phase III clinical trial, putting the country “further ahead” of Russia, which has only reached a “phase one approval equivalent,” he explained.
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“I think right now we’re still on track for what we believe to be a late 2020 approval or early 2021 event,” Makary predicted.
As far as infection rates go, Makary credited herd immunity for lowering positive case rates “in most of the country” and predicts “good news” in the coming weeks.
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