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Scientists Questioned the Authenticity of Data on the Russian Vaccine against COVID-19
September 8, 2020 22:51


An international team of scientists noticed duplications in the graphs in an article from The Lancet on the Russian coronavirus vaccine. The researchers found other inaccuracies and as a result were unable to draw final conclusions about the reliability of the data presented.

A group of scientists from different countries approached the editor of the medical journal The Lancet and the authors of an article on the Russian coronavirus vaccine with a request to explain the duplication of some experimental values in the graphs. The open letter, which was signed by 19 researchers, was published by the Italian website Cattivi Scienziati, which specializes in the fight against pseudoscience.

The article, in which Russian developers of the coronavirus vaccine from the Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology,   spoke about the first two phases of clinical trials of the substance, came out last week. The vaccine's makers said they tested its safety and the ability to trigger an immune response in a sample of 76 volunteers. The authors of the article indicated that after two weeks, 100% of the subjects developed antibodies and T cells. However, no serious side effects were found, and in August, the researchers began the third phase of clinical trials.

A group of international scientists noted that the results of several experiments show the same data patterns, even when it comes to different volunteers. For example, volunteers from different groups on days 21 and 28 after immunization had the same antibody level, although they were injected with different components of the vaccine, the authors of the open letter indicate. “We still think that based on simple probabilistic estimates, the fact that such a large number of pieces of data will coincide in different experiments is unlikely,” the letter says.

The researchers also asked questions about the graph on the T-cell response. The authors of the letter also noted that the article does not contain the initial numerical data of the devices and does not indicate a sufficient number of characteristics of recovering patients. Scientists believe that for this reason, no conclusions can be drawn about the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Deputy Director for Research,   Denis Logunov said that the research center categorically rejects accusations of the inaccuracy of statistical data published in The Lancet. According to him, the published data are reliable and accurate, they were reviewed by five reviewers of The Lancet, and a full-length clinical protocol was provided to the editorial office of the journal. “We presented exactly the data that we received, and not those that should be liked by Italian experts,” Logunov added.

In mid-August, President of Russia announced that Russia was the first in the world to register a coronavirus vaccine. According to him, the drug has passed all the necessary checks. The Russian President added that one of his daughters injected herself with the vaccine, after which she had a slight fever for two days, but then developed antibodies.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: coronavirus     

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