Disinfo: Sputnik V is the world's first coronavirus vaccine, 95% effective

Summary

The Russian-made Sputnik V is the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine. The drug has a proven efficacy of over 95%.

Disproof

The claim advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the Russian-made coronovirus vaccine, Sputnik V; casting Russia as the spearhead of the global race to develop effective treatment for COVID-19.

The Russian government's approval of Sputnik V in August 2020 hardly makes it the world's first coronavirus vaccine. Serious doubts linger over both the safety and efficacy of the Russian-made jab, given the lack of transparency which accompanied the approval process and the "very strange patterns in the data" which the drug's developers submitted to The Lancet journal. In fact, Russia remains the only country which has approved a COVID-19 vaccine before the publication of Phase III efficacy data.

The claim that Sputnik V demonstrates >95% efficacy has likewise been called into question. According to Science magazine, the assertion "doesn't pass the smell test," given that the percentage is based on merely 20 cases. By comparison, the estimated efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot is based on 94 identified cases, and the clinical trials are to continue until that number reaches 164.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 224
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/12/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: Sputnik V, coronavirus, vaccination, Russian superiority, Propaganda
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Crimea reunited with Russia after a referendum and Russia is not part of the conflict in Ukraine

Relations between Moscow and the West have deteriorated due to the situation in Ukraine and around Crimea, which was reunited with Russia after a referendum on the peninsula. Moscow was accused of interfering and sanctions against it were imposed. Russia retaliated, embarking on a course of import substitution. Also, the authorities have repeatedly noted that it is counterproductive to talk with Moscow in the language of sanctions. Russia has repeatedly stressed that it does not participate in the conflict in Ukraine and is not a subject of the Minsk settlement agreements.

Disproof

Several recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, the war in Ukraine, and the ineffectiveness of sanctions against Russia.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum in Crimea. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, stating that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

EU sanctions exist because of the conflict in Donbas and Crimea joining Russia

The European Union imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014 against the subsequent accession of Crimea to Russia and the armed conflict in Donbas.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Crimea willingly joining Russia and portraying the war in Donbas as an internal armed conflict.

The war in Eastern Ukraine is a well-documented act of ongoing aggression by Russian armed forces, since February 2014.

Europe attacks Russia in "vaccines' war"

Russia is following the traditional way to produce its anti-COVID vaccines, initially Sputnik V and now the EpiVacCorona, while Western pharmaceuticals are using a new, genetic type methodology which influences and changes human RNA. This justifies why Russian vaccines do not cause any side effects. However, bureaucrats and officials from European countries and the EU are trying to discredit the Russian vaccines, saying that there are attempts by the Russian mafia to steal the secrets of Western vaccines and even laying the ground for sanctions against Russia.

Disproof

This is a mix of several recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about alleged anti-Russian bias in the West and plots against Russia’s greatness.

There is credible evidence that the Russian government pressed Russian scientists and researchers to be the first to find a vaccine against COVID-19, and did everything at hand to shorten the process, raising concerns about the safety and efficiency of the Sputnik V vaccine.