Russia’s ‘Sputnik’ Covid vaccine fizzles on the launchpad


Russia’s ‘Sputnik’ Covid vaccine fizzles on the launchpad

Moscow hailed it as an example of its medical prowess. But its creators warn about a host of nasty side-effects

Theo Merz

The Russian coronavirus vaccine hailed by President Vladimir Putin is not certain to work and has side-effects including swelling, fever and pain, according to scientists who developed the drug.

Putin announced on Tuesday that Russia had approved the world’s first vaccine against the virus, saying his own daughter had taken part in clinical trials.

Officials said the vaccine would be offered to medics as early as this month and rolled out to the general population from October. But, documents on an official Russian health ministry website said the vaccine had been tested on too few volunteers over too short a time to draw conclusions about its effectiveness, and described a number of side-effects...

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