Russia Accused of Stealing the AstraZeneca Vaccine Blueprint

Andrei Tapalaga

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AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccinesCGTN

The news outlets have exploded lately with what some may call just rumors of Russian spies who have stolen the AstraZeneca vaccine blueprint in order to develop the Russian vaccine for Covid-19 known as Sputnik V. The security services from the United Kingdom say that they hold solid evidence of an agent presumed to be a Russian spy stealing the formula when it was still in its early stages of the trials.

The UK is certain of this

It is not sure if the UK is just upset with all of the problems caused by Brexit, but they definitely seem to have a grudge against Russia who lately has improved its relations with the European Union since the United Kingdom had left. Damian Hinds who is the Home Office minister refused to give a solid confirmation on the theft but he has commented that the situation is a lot more complicated.

This is not the first time during this pandemic that Russia had been accused of targeting valuable information about the Covid-19 vaccine. In 2020 the UK once against stated that it was very sure that Russian hackers had carried out cybernetic attacks on vaccine makers as well as research groups not only in Britain but also in the United States and Canada.

It is possible that some people may have seen the race for the country coming up with the first vaccine as a sort of space race from the Cold War era. This is not a war, this is about saving humanity, so it should have been with the space race, evolving technology for our entire humanity.

Although the British government is working in accordance with AstraZeneca, they are still a private company and when the spokesperson was interviewed they simply prefer to not comment. This sort of makes it looks as if this is only the British government trying to start something up, maybe trying to ruin the relationship between the European Union and Russia.

Similarities and Differences between the vaccines

Although the formula between AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccine is different there are a few similarities such as both being viral vector vaccines, in other words, you need to have a second dose after the first for the vaccine to work.

One very interesting aspect that had been observed when Sputnik V had its first trials was that people were able to combine a dose of AstraZeneca and a dose of Sputnik V without any side effects and the vaccine would still work as if both doses were similar (using the same sort of vaccine). You would expect that not to work or at least have the efficiency of the vaccine lowered.

Due to the large population of Russia and a slow manufacturing process of Sputnik V, Vladimir Putin agreed that people should get a dose of AstraZeneca and a Dose of Sputnik V in order to balance the supply. There have been no reports of any side effects of health problems caused by combining the two different doses.

Russia Denies any Allegation

With no surprise, Russia will deny such allegations in their defense, but the way that the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund stated it was a bit abrupt, calling UK’s allegations nothing but “scientific nonsense.” On the other hand, in the defense of Russia, these allegations are rumored to have been started by The Sun, a British tabloid newspaper that is considered to be very unreliable.

Other people think that private pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca are afraid of the success Sputnik Vcan has on the vaccine market as it is much cheaper and Putin says that it is as reliable as a Kalashnikov. This may be frankly tacit for the United Kingdom to help itself raise its economy by securing the success of AstraZeneca in a long run, or maybe there is a lot more behind the scenes that we are not aware of.

What is certain is that both parties have lied before, the question now is who is the bigger liar?

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