Namibia's Decision To Suspend Sputnik V Over HIV Risks Unscientific - Developer

Namibia's Decision to Suspend Sputnik V Over HIV Risks Unscientific - Developer

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th October, 2021) The decision of the Namibian Health Ministry to suspend administering Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in the country over alleged threat to HIV at-risk groups is not based on any scientific research, the vaccine's producer, Russia's Gamaleya Institute, told Sputnik on Saturday.

Namibia announced its decision to stop using the vaccine earlier in the day. However, those who have already received the first Sputnik V shot will still be able to finish the vaccination course, Gamaleya confirmed, citing the African country's health ministry.

"The decision of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Namibia regarding the use of Sputnik V in the country refers to the statement of the South African regulator made earlier and is not based on any scientific facts or studies," Gamaleya said.

Sputnik V remains one of the world's safest and most effective vaccines against COVID-19, the developer stressed.

"There is no scientific or clinical data that wild-type adenoviruses or replication incompetent adenoviral vectors are somehow linked to the increased risk of HIV contraction among vulnerable groups. Such incorrect statements, which have been proven wrong before, are linked to unsuccessful clinical trials of an HIV vaccine by another producer, which turned out to be ineffective," the developer noted.

Adenoviruses, including Ad-5, the adenovirus used in Sputnik V, are some of the most common causes of mild colds in the population, and there is no evidence that common cold or conjunctivitis increase the risk of HIV spread among at-risk populations, Gamaleya said.

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority is now in the process of reviewing the Russian-made vaccine and all requested information about its safety for those with HIV or at risk of contracting HIV will be provided to the regulator.

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