April 17, 2024

Russia rushes its vaccine

Russia has dashed across the finish line and seized the trophy for being the first nation to release a vaccine for Covid-19. It has been nicknamed “Sputnik 5”, recalling the Soviet Union’s glorious triumphs in the Space Race of the 1950s and 60s.

Scientists and bioethicists around the world, and even in Russia, have grave misgivings. Sputnik 5 has not even completed Phase 3 clinical trials. If the Russian vaccine is ineffective or unsafe, it could deter many people from being inoculated with an effective vaccine when it arrives.

By one of those awful coincidences which sometimes happen with new products, Sputnik 5 is being trialled at the same time as a Russian movie which is also called “Sputnik”. This, however, is a horror film about a guest which returns from outer space with an unlucky cosmonaut. It turns out to be a slithering extraterrestrial parasite which feasts on human brains. (Rated 90% on Rotten Tomatoes).

Is there a translation for Murphy’s Law?

Michael Cook
Sputnik 5 has not gone through Phase 3 trials