Professor Koutis: We should have tested the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine earlier

Sputnik V vaccine

As the pandemic spreads, voices are circulating that the Russian Sputnik V vaccine must become part of the response to the pandemic, and one of those voices is Professor Charilaos Koutis.

Although the West initially did not even want to hear about the vaccine, it is now even considering co-production.

The opinion that the Russian vaccine should have been examined earlier in order to shield the world community more quickly and return it to normalcy was expressed by emeritus professor of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health, Koutis.

"We should have considered Sputnik V earlier and every vaccine that goes into production, regardless of the country of origin," said Koutis.

Sputnik V vaccine transportation. Koutis
Sputnik V vaccine transportation.

The professor also emphasised the urgent need for vaccination coverage of the population, both in Greece and worldwide, before uncontrolled mutations in the virus begin to increase.

"What is certain is that the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines can be modified to meet the mutations of the virus, but there is no wide production capacity for large quantities," he said.

"The Russian vaccine Sputnik V has the advantage of using the two glands in its composition, in contrast to the AstraZeneca vaccine which has only one," underlined Koutis.

"That is why the two sides want to work together so that AstraZeneca acquires Russian know-how, while the Russian side expands its production capabilities," he added.

He goes on to say that Russia's research laboratories are of a very high standard, comparable to those of the United States.

"The scientific community has never seen Russian vaccines or other third-country vaccines in disbelief. Some expressed reservations as it was not published in a Western scientific journal," the professor said.

"However, this changed as there was a very recent publication of the relevant study in a British magazine," he continued.

"In the first phase, the study shows that all the provisions regarding the Russian vaccine have been met. So there is no reason why it should not be approved," Koutis emphasised.

"More than ever, global cooperation on vaccines is needed in order to have a global response to the coronavirus," the professor continued.

The professor's view is that if we manage to build an immune wall by the summer, having vaccinated 40% of the population and in September the rate reaches 70%, then next winter will be much more optimistic.

A DW report on the possibility of producing the Russian Sputnik V vaccine in Germany caused a sensation.

In particular, the publication states that possible cooperation has already been considered in "confidential" discussions with the German pharmaceutical company IDT Biologika.

IDT Biologika.
IDT Biologika.

Koutis believes  it is likely there will be cogeneration of the Russian vaccine in Europe.

"Greek pharmaceutical companies could also become co-producers, however, I estimate some result would not be possible before 2022 as they do not have such a large productive power," he estimated.

Finally, he reminds that the countries with a long tradition of vaccines are Russia, Germany, France and Great Britain.

READ MORE: Professor Papazisis: The results for the Sputnik V vaccine are promising.