Russia is using its vaccine program for soft power diplomacy. On Tuesday, Argentina and Belarus became the first two countries to begin coronavirus vaccinations via the Sputnik V vaccine.
Building on the Sputnik V vaccine’s momentum, Russia is now claiming it has successfully developed the world’s first “antidote” to COVID-19.
According to RT News, Russia’s Federal Medical and Biological Agency (FMBA) announced this week that an experimental drug to combat the virus is the world’s first direct-acting antiviral antidote if clinical trials are successful.
FMBA head Veronika Skvortsova has claimed that the experimental antidote is more than 99% effective.
“This is the first etiotropic drug that directly affects the virus. In fact, this is an antidote for coronavirus infection,” she told Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Wednesday, adding that researchers have concluded preclinical studies that already shown the remedy is “completely safe” and “highly efficient.”
Skvortsova told Mishustin that the FMBA is applying for approval to conduct additional testing in the near term.
“If clinical trials confirm the effectiveness of this drug, it will be the first safe, effective, direct-acting antiviral drug that has no analogs in the world,” she explained.
The Russian Ministry of Health approved the anti-influenza drug Avifavir for reducing patient recovery times back in May.
If effective, the antidote combined with the Sputnik V vaccine could push Russia ahead in the vaccine race among global superpowers.
Meanwhile, Pfizer published a statement that said there is “no data” to show that a single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine will protect from infection after 21 days, according to Axios.
Russia has accused the West of misrepresenting the science behind its Sputnik V vaccine to win market share for its vaccines.
The Cold War space between both countries appears not just to be on the military front but now gravitating towards biotechnology.