The latest news from Russian healthcare and life sciences, including the WHO’s decision to suspend the approval process for the country’s Sputnik V COVID vaccine, hesitant uptake of Sputnik V both at home and abroad, and an in-depth feature on Russia’s untreated pain epidemic.
Sputnik V: WHO suspends approval process for COVID vaccine due to ‘manufacturing’ concerns (Euro News)
The World Health Organization (WHO) has suspended the approval process for Russia’s Sputnik V COVID vaccine. A regional WHO official said the manufacturing process of the jab had not met the necessary standards.
Russia first applied for approval from the WHO for their vaccine in February but has not yet received an Emergency Use Listing (EUL). The WHO says they have delayed approving the jab until a new inspection can be carried out at one of the plants where Sputnik V was manufactured.
Putin Plans to Skip U.N. General Assembly After Sputnik V Vaccine Snub (US News)
Though multiple political and health reasons will keep the Russian leader at home for this week’s high-profile gathering, Russian officials are outraged at what they consider Western bias.
Russia’s COVID-19 response slowed by population reluctant to take domestic vaccine (The Conversation)
As Russia struggles with its third wave of COVID-19, the authorities have adopted new measures to contain the coronavirus. But pervasive vaccine hesitancy has put a massive strain on the Kremlin’s pandemic response.
While the delta variant helps explain the latest spike in daily infections, sluggish vaccination rates – about 24% of the population is fully vaccinated – are perhaps the biggest culprit.
The Forgotten Vaccine: Russia’s Sputnik V in Thailand and Southeast Asia (The Diplomat)
Back in late April, Thailand announced plans to purchase Russia’s Sputnik V, the world’s first registered COVID-19 vaccine. Given the Thai government’s desperation to diversify vaccine supplies and Sputnik V’s portrayal as a decent alternative to the mRNA vaccines that are difficult to manufacture and store, the announcement was much hyped. But, four months later, Sputnik V has mysteriously vanished from the public discourse.
Russia Has an Opioid Crisis Too – One of Untreated Pain (Vice)
The groundbreaking work of one woman is helping Russian children in intense pain, and humanising healthcare in a country where historical and cultural legacies loom large.