Thursday, August 13, 2020

Michael Osterholm: Russian vaccine is a propaganda stunt and is dangerous

18:24 into the video:  Question:  Big news today from Russia was that the Russians have approved a covid-19 vaccine that hasn’t even been through phase 3 clinical trials. What do you make of this, Mike?

Michael Osterholm: This is a propaganda stunt. Seriously, that’s all it can be. No one in public health could recommend that you put forward a vaccine in most urgent of conditions without a phase 3 study. Remember last week I talked about the different phases and the fact that we have to understand more about how well it works, how safe it is, etc.  in these larger studies and  I think you’ve heard today from the public health community around the world including WHO, the grave concern about what they’ve done in Russia,  and you couldn’t get  me to take this vaccine for the life of me.  

And I am truly sorry, I would never give it to any of my loved ones and family members and I surely would not recommend it to any of you. So we need to have the kind of data that we can assure the public, that we can assure ourselves, that this vaccine is effective, that it’s safe to the extent we possibly can, and anything short of that I think endangers public health. My fear is that if something does happen with the vaccine and the human recipients in Russia, that will get painted across the board as being something that all international related vaccines will get painted with and I think it will be a real disservice. So I uniformly reject what the Russians have done and I think it is dangerous. 

Aug 17 update. As a letter to the editor in the Jerusalem Post as Russia’s putative COVID cure