Author`s name Anton Kulikov

World Health Organisation unwilling to raise the COVID curtain

The World Health Organization still does not give a direct response to the question of when the Russian Sputnik V vaccine is going to be registered. WHO tries to avoid any particularities in this matter. Russian Minister for Health Mikhail Murashko assures that the World Health Organization has no claims against the vaccine.

Registration documents were submitted to the World Health Organisation in January of this year. WHO delegations visited production sites in Russia and announced their claims as a result of the inspection.

According to Mikhail Murashko, there were questions about the dossier:

"There were no complaints against the product per se, there were questions about the dossier. A package of documents is formed for each pharmaceutical product before experts give their assessment to it."

According to the minister, the documents that were needed for registration have been completed.

"One had to draw up a certain package of documents according to certain rules — this has been completed and is being implemented. The issues have been resolved," he said.

The necessary documents must be submitted within a week and a half.

Earlier, Mikhail Murashko said that all the barriers that prevented the registration of Sputnik V with the World Health Organization had been removed.

In turn, the Gamaleya Center expects that the Sputnik V vaccine will be registered by the end of November.

Russian politicians and officials say that they consider problems with the registration of the Russian vaccine a part of the competition game that Western pharmaceutical companies play. This could be true indeed, although one should note here that the WHO has already registered two Chinese vaccines against coronavirus.

Why, WHO?

Representatives of the World Health Organisation commented on the statements from Russian officials. It becomes clear from the statement that there is still no certainty about the time when the Russian vaccine is going to be registered.

"As with other candidate vaccines, WHO continues to assess Sputnik V vaccines from different manufacturing sites and will publish decisions on their EUL (emergency use listing) status when all the data are available and the review is concluded," the WHO said in a statement on October 5.

As a matter of fact, what is the point of this registration, given that Sputnik V has been recognized in more than 70 countries of the world?

First off, this would allow the Russian vaccine to be included in the COVAX program of the World Health Organisation, under which COVID-19 vaccines are supplied to dozens of countries around the world.

Secondly, the authorities of several states, including the United States, for example, refer to the WHO regarding the recognition of vaccines. If there is a registered vaccine on the WHO list, then those countries will recognise it too and open its borders for those who have been vaccinated with this vaccine. As for Sputnik V, Washington officials say that they will decide on whether to grant entry to those vaccinated with Sputnik V or not till November.

Other countries, including popular destinations with Russian tourists, for example, France and Spain, do not hurry to grant entry to those vaccinated with the Russian vaccine either. It remains unknown when the Covid curtain is going to be raised.

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