Flouting all standards, Russia plans to release early COVID-19 vaccine data

An older man in a suit speaks into an array of microphones.

Enlarge / MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 14, 2020: Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry that produces a COVID-19 vaccine. (credit: Getty | Vyacheslav Prokofyev)

A top Russian researcher behind the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine defended using the vaccine before testing was complete and said he plans to release clinical trial data early—so early, in fact, the data is unlikely to be interpretable.

Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya Institute that developed Sputnik V, laid out his thoughts on the vaccine and the pandemic in an interview with Reuters published Tuesday.

“People are dying just like during a war,” Gintsburg said as he sat in his wood-paneled office in Moscow, holding a crystal model of a coronavirus. “But this fast-tracked pace is not synonymous—as some media have suggested—with corners being cut. No way.”

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