European regulator to investigate whether Russians were forced to participate in Sputnik vaccine trials: report

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Health regulators in Europe are ready to investigate whether volunteers who participated in Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine trials were pressured to participate, according to reports. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is already evaluating whether Sputnik V can be used in Europe and it is also expected to investigate whether the vaccine trial adhered to accepted international standards known as “Good Clinical Practice”.

It comes after text messages were posted in December that the Reuters news wire said was from the manager of a state office in Moscow pressuring his staff to sign up for the trials. Read: Vaccine Diplomacy: Putin Seeks To Leverage Sputnik V To Build Russia’s Global Influence. Staff had been accused of signing up for flu shots, preventing them from injecting the test vaccine. Manager Sergei Martyanov is alleged to have texted: ‘Colleagues !!! … What is this sabotage ???, ” Who is he trying to fool? The coronavirus vaccine is the top priority !!! ‘allegedly wrote, asking staff to recruit friends and family. Read: Russia registers ‘world’s first vaccine’ COVID-19 for dogs, cats and other animals The EMA is expected to announce next week that it will analyze whether the Sputnik trials were conducted ethically, according to a newspaper report Financial Times, which said participants comprised of state and military employees. The trial was funded in part by the Kremlin’s Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). RDIF chief Kirill Dmitriev told the newspaper that the EMA inspection was scheduled to start next week, adding: “There was no pressure [on participants] and Sputnik V complied with all clinical practices ”. The EMA was contacted and comments were requested. Other vaccines used worldwide include those developed by AstraZeneca AZN, -1.17%, Moderna MRNA, -0.42%, Johnson & Johnson JNJ, -0.02%, Novavax NVAX, -2.64% and Pfizer PFE, -0.61% -BioNtech BNTX, -2.09%.