Sources allegedly told ministers they had evidence spies working for the Kremlin had stolen the blueprint for the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid jab from the multinational pharmaceutical company
Image: Alexei Druzhinin/TASS)
The blueprint for the life-saving Oxford/AstraZeneca jab was stolen by Russian spies who used it to create their Sputnik V jab, according to reports.
Security sources are reported to have told ministers that they have evidence Kremlin spies stole the blueprint for the Covid jab and used it to design their own vaccine.
It is understood that the blueprint and vital information was stolen by a foreign agent in person, The Sun reports.
Vladimir Putin says he has received Sputnik V and has urged other Russians to get jabbed – but the jab is not yet internationally approved, despite 70 countries signing off on it.
Got a story? Email [email protected]
In September the results from two early clinical trials done in Moscow and published in the British journal The Lancet indicated Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine, which uses similar technology to the Oxford jab, was safe and effective.
The Russian scientists behind the studies said the jab stimulated an immune response in all inoculated participants and did not cause any serious health issues.
Production of antibodies seen in the patients suggested the vaccine was able to prepare the body to be able to fend off Covid-19.
Independent Western scientists said the results were ‘somewhat reassuring’ but warned the trials were too small and narrow to justify injecting millions of Russians.
Just 76 people were involved in the study, only half of whom were actually jabbed, and volunteers were all healthy and mostly in their 20s and 30s.
The trials took place in two hospitals in Moscow, the Burdenko Hospital and Sechenov University Hospital.
A World Health Organization spokesperson said on Friday that the health agency was “near” to resolving issues on Sputnik V, without giving a date for a potential emergency use listing.
“We are slowly solving most of the issues,” Fadela Chaib said at a Geneva briefing.
Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said last week that all barriers to register the vaccine with the WHO had been cleared and only some paperwork remained to be completed.
Sputnik V is also still awaiting approval from the European Medicines Agency before all travel limitations can be lifted for people vaccinated with the Russian formula.