Russia has denied accusations claiming that Russian spies stole the "blueprint" for the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and used it to create its own Sputnik V shot, with the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund calling the claims "scientific nonsense," CNBC reported.
According to reports in the British press this week, UK security services told British ministers they had proof that Russia stole the blueprint for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and used it to create Sputnik V.
"There is no merit [to these claims] and we’re very clear about this," said Kirill Dmitriev, head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, RDIF. "This report is a complete scientific nonsense, it has zero merit and frankly it’s a lie."
Dmitriev insisted that the developers of Sputnik V wanted to partner with other vaccine producers and cited a joint clinical trial taking place with AstraZeneca (to determine if mixed vaccine doses work), noting "we believe in a joint approach to working with other vaccine producers and Sputnik V is a partner to other vaccines."
Dmitriev said that Russia expects Sputnik V to be approved by the end of the year and that he hopes the one-shot Sputnik Light could soon be used as a booster shot in conjunction with other vaccines.
"We’ve seen very positive signals from the WHO lately and they really appreciate what we are doing ... ‘Sputnik Light’ can be a booster to other vaccines such as AstraZeneca and Moderna to many other vaccines, so we believe in a very positive solution with the WHO as early as the fall ... definitely we expect an approval very soon," he said.
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