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Russia surprised as Turkish doctors ignore Sputnik V vaccine in their review

The Russian vaccine provides full protection against severe coronavirus cases, Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey Alexei Yerkhov stressed

ANKARA, January 17. /TASS/. Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey Alexei Yerkhov sent a letter to the Turkish Medical Association, expressing bewilderment over the fact that the organization's report on COVID-19 vaccines did not mention Russia’s Sputnik V, the country’s diplomatic mission said on its Twitter on Sunday.

"Reading this review, frankly speaking, I was quite surprised by the absence of the world's first registered coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center in this list. It is not quite clear, what lists or ratings such a selection is based on. The effectiveness of Sputnik V is above 90%, as well as of the drugs mentioned in the material, while the Russian vaccine also provides full protection against severe coronavirus cases," the diplomat said. <...> Besides, Sputnik V’s absolute advantage is that it can be stored at a temperature from 2 to 8 °C (35.6 to 46.4 °F), which allows you to keep it in a regular refrigerator without the need to invest in additional infrastructure."

Yerkhov recalled that as of January 13, more than 1.5 mln people had already been vaccinated with Sputnik V. The vaccine is approved not only in Russia but also in Algeria, Argentina, Belarus, Bolivia, Palestine and Serbia, furthermore, the vaccine’s registration process in the EU has been initiated. In January, Sputnik V is going to be certified in nine more countries, while its mass production has been launched in Russia, as well as in a number of other countries, which indicates their confidence in this drug. "In December 2020, an application for the Russian vaccine’s certification was submitted to the World Health Organization. It was worth noting that the company AstraZeneca, mentioned in your list, was working with Sputnik V’s developers in order to improve its vaccine’s effectiveness, which indicates a high evaluation of Russia’s drug," the country’s diplomat added.

The Russian ambassador also voiced hope that the Turkish Medical Association would be able to properly assess Russia's efforts in developing coronavirus vaccines.

Russia’s vaccine

On August 11, 2020, Russia was the first in the world to register a coronavirus vaccine called Sputnik V and developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Health Ministry.

In August, Kirill Dmitriev, who heads the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said that Russia had already received applications from 20 countries to supply 1 bln vaccine doses. Belarus, Venezuela, Vietnam, India, Kazakhstan, China, Mexico also showed their interest. According to Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, Sputnik V’s export may start as early as in spring 2021. RDIF has signed an agreement with Indian companies to produce 300 mln doses of the vaccine. On December 1, 2020, the second and the third phases of Sputnik V clinical trials began in India.

Vaccination in Turkey

Turkey registered the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine and launched the first stage of mass vaccination on January 14. According to the CNN Turk channel, at this stage, healthcare workers and people aged over 65 will receive the vaccine. To date, all hospitals participating in the program have received doses of vaccines. Over the past three days, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vice President Fuat Oktay and Health Minister Fahrettin Koca got the jab against COVID-19.

According to the latest Turkish Health Ministry’s data, more than 686,000 people have already taken the coronavirus vaccine.