The British medical journal The Lancet has called on the scientists that have developed the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V to answer the questions from their Western colleagues about alleged anomalous data in the article published by The Lancet about the vaccine’s trials, the journal’s press office told TASS.
"The Lancet has invited the authors of the Russian vaccine study to respond to the questions raised in the open letter by Enrico Bucci [a biology professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - TASS]. We continue to follow the situation closely," the journal said.
"We encourage scientific debate on papers we have published, and are aware of the open letter on the Russia vaccine trial by Logunov et al. We have shared the letter directly with the authors and encouraged them to engage in the scientific discussion," they continued.
On September 7, some scientists from US, Italian and other universities released an open letter to the Russian researchers, drawing their attention to some experiments depicted in the article, where, according to the letters’ authors, certain statistics anomalies could be detected. The Russian scientists announced their readiness to provide required explanations to The Lancet, if the journal requested that.
On Tuesday, Alexander Kabanov, Associate Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Professor of North Carolina University and Moscow State University, told TASS that criticism of scientific articles is part of a normal scientific process, "moreover, when we talk about the works of paramount social importance, like a vaccine or a drug amid the pandemic."
He emphasized that this criticism does not mean that the researchers’ results are erroneous. Kabanov recalled that three months ago, articles by US scientists were withdrawn from two leading journals, including The Lancet, after criticism of the published results and the refusal to provide primary data on the outcome of their research on the use of certain drugs to treat COVID-19.
Last week, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Health Ministry announced that a scientific article based on results of Phases 1 and 2 of the clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus, which was the first candidate vaccine registered in the world, had been published in the most influential medical journal The Lancet. The article lists key characteristics of the vaccine.
On August 11, Russia registered the world’s first vaccine against the novel coronavirus. The vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V, was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Health Ministry, and its clinical trials were successfully completed in June-July. The vaccine was developed on a platform that had been used for a number of other vaccines.