Amid rising concerns over Russia's new coronavirus vaccine, a survey found on Friday that over half of Russian doctors would not take Sputnik V. The doctors also said that the vaccine was developed too fast and had insufficient data over its efficacy.
The online survey conducted by the Doctor's Handbook app polled 3,040 healthcare experts. It found that 52 percent of doctors said they were not ready to get vaccinated with Sputnik V, which has received much praise from the Putin administration. Of the 52 percent Russian doctors, 66 percent said the vaccine did not have enough data to prove its efficacy and 48 percent said it was developed very fast.
The survey results showed only 24.5 percent of Russian doctors said they would not hesitate to get vaccinated with Sputnik V. However, 20 percent of the medical professionals who said they would not take the vaccine shot, would recommend it to their patients, family and colleagues.
After the findings of the poll were released, Alexander Gintsburg of the Gamaleya Institute said if the healthcare professionals refused to take the vaccine the only way for them to develop antibodies was by getting "severely sick."
"Catching a severe form of Covid-19 is likely to have consequences for the rest of one's life and, in a certain number of cases, as doctors know, death," Gintsburg reportedly said. "Therefore, there's a choice: refuse to be vaccinated and follow this path, or get the vaccine."
Russia's Deputy Health Minister Oleg Salagay said that was normal "for trust to be earned through years of application."
"But one shouldn't confuse trust with the official assessment of safety and efficiency. These results allow experts to conclude that the vaccine can be used," he said.
Russia was the world's first country to register for a coronavirus vaccine on August 11. The country's President Vladimir Putin earlier said the vaccine offered sustainable immunity to those who took it during the trials. The vaccine will be ready to be given to healthcare workers and teachers at least by late August, according to reports.
However, healthcare professionals across the world expressed concerns over the efficacy of the vaccine as it was developed too fast. Professor Alexander Chuchalin, Russia's leading respiratory doctor, resigned from the ethics council of the country's health ministry after his attempts to block Sputnik V's registration on safety grounds failed.