Some scientists observed ‘unlikely’ pattern in Russia’s vaccine data: letter


MOSCOW (Reuters) – Twenty-six scientists, most of whom are working at universities in Italy, have signed an open letter questioning the reliability of the data presented in early-stage test results of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine , Named Sputnik- is V “.

FILE PHOTO: In this illustration taken on April 10, 2020, a woman holds a small bottle labeled with a “Vaccine Cod-19” sticker and a medical syringe. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo

The editor of The Lancet, addressing the international peer-reviewed medical journal in which the Gamalaya Institute in Moscow published the results of its early-stage tests, said scientists saw patterns in the data that were “highly unlikely”.

The paper, published on the personal blog page of one of the signatories, stated that the phase I / II trial results data showed several participants reporting similar antibody levels.

“The fact of seeing multiple data points preserved between different experiments based on simple probabilistic evaluation is highly unlikely,” the open market said.

However, the scientists said they were basing their findings on a summary of Russian test result data published in the journal, rather than the original data.

“Due to the lack of original numerical data, no conclusion can be drawn definitively on the reliability of the presented data regarding the apparent duplication that has been presented,” the letter said.

The Gamaleya Institute, which developed the vaccine, dismissed the criticism.

“The published results are authentic and accurate and were tested by five reviewers in The Lancet,” Denis Logunov, a deputy director of the institute, said in a statement.

He said that his institute presented the entire raw body on the test results of The Lancet.

“We have especially presented the data presented (by trial), not the figures that are supposed to please Italian experts,” Logunov said.

John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Deputy Director Naor Bar-Zeev, who reviewed Russian data, defended his analysis of the research.

“Science must maintain a balance between incredulity, skepticism and belief. This belief arises through praiseworthiness, repetition and false behavior. ”

“The results are commendable, and not very different to those seen with other AdV products,” he said.

Researchers had provided excessive detail for the review and answered their questions “wisely and in a matter-of-fact and confident manner”.

“Bottom line, I saw no reason to doubt the validity of the results that I have read and reviewed. But certainly no one can know,” he said in an email.

A Lancet spokesperson said the magazine had invited the study’s authors to answer questions raised in an open letter. She was following the situation closely, she said.

Russia published the results on Friday of its Phase I / II trial, which included 76 participants and was conducted in June – July this year. The authors of the study stated that the participants developed a positive immune response and there were no serious side effects.

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said that a Phase III trial, involving 40,000 participants, was conducted. Was started on 26 August. About 31,000 people have subscribed to participate.

Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Angus McSwan

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