The participants of the meeting discussed the main topics devoted to the “race to approve a Covid vaccine: which are the achievements in vaccine development in Russia and worldwide, new research, challenges; the pros and cons of vaccination on the whole; domestically produced or imported vaccines - the truth and myths about the quality of domestic and foreign vaccines.
The representatives of the expert community joined the conversation:
- Tatyana Kusayko, member of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy, senator of the Russian Federation;
- Maxim Stetsyuk, Executive Director of NANOLEK;
- Andrey Lomakin, first Deputy General Director of FORT biopharmaceutical plant
- Nikita Lomakin, chief cardiologist, chief researcher at the Central clinical hospital of the President’s administration.
Tatyana Kusayko highlighted the distinctive features of influenza and other viral diseases which help differentiate them from coronavirus, e.g. the incubation period for influenza usually lasts 3 days, for COVID-19 – 5-6 days. The speaker reminded that people need to follow the recommendations issued by Rospotrebnadzor (The Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing) to prevent the risk of infection. And although you may come across the symptoms of COVID-19 on websites of different health authorities, the experts recommended that people consult a doctor as the first symptoms appear.
Andrey Lomakin urged listeners to get flu vaccines as this is, to his mind, especially important amidst the coronavirus pandemic. This year, more than 75 million doses of domestic influenza vaccine are expected to be delivered to the market. The distinctive feature here is that trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines protect against three different virus strains, according to recommendations by WHO.
Nikita Lomakin spoke about the clinical trials of the Covid-19 vaccine with volunteers aged 60+ years at increased risk, which are conducted by the Central clinical hospital. People in this age group are at risk of developing severe and very severe disease forms.
Vaccination is the most effective way to get protected from many viruses and infections, Maxim Stetsyuk assured that in the case of any doubts (e.g. whether or not to be vaccinated), we should draw on expertise and experience of international credible organizations. For example, findings by WHO and UNICEF experts show that vaccination fully meets the expectations. There are also economic indices that prove the necessity of vaccination. For every ruble invested in vaccination, there is a ten- to fifteenfold return.
Maxim Stetsyuk emphasized the following:
“Russia maintains an efficient vaccination schedule that protects against 12 vaccine-controlled diseases, and is considered to be one of the best worldwide. That was the way how we managed to reduce three times the infant mortality rate in the first years of life. Therefore, building of awareness among parents is very important.
And, of course, it is also important to cooperate with domestic vaccine manufacturers. In particular, NANOLEK is making tremendous efforts to improve vaccination. Currently, you can protect your child from 5 infections at once with one injection only, which helps ease the economic burden on the budget and burden on clinics.
Over the past 10 years, Russia has made considerable progress in this area, and domestic vaccines are not at all inferior, and in some cases even superior to imported ones. As far as quality of domestic vaccines is concerned, I hasten to strip away a long held assumption that “imported drugs are always better than those made in Russia”. Responsible-minded biopharmaceutical producers comply in their work with global GMP standards. This is a system of requirements for compliance with the highest quality at every production stage, full compliant with the best quality management practices. I will give some facts that will dispel any skepticism: 30% of our staff are employees dealing with quality management issues by performing a huge number of tests, analyses, and samples. And no production is made without their prior approval, not a single operation is processed without their permission, without a 100% confidence that all the guidelines and requirements of the international standards are complied with.
As for today’s topic of conversation, I would like to note that an ideal vaccine formula is as follows: excellent safety, high efficiency, and high availability which means that it must be produced in sufficient quantities. Everyone of us of us wishes that all the components are achieved. We, at NANOLEK, are absolutely prepared for this and actively cooperate with research centers and institutions to develop modern domestic vaccines and to protect people from vaccine-controlled diseases.”
NANOLEK is a modern fast-evolving Russian biopharmaceutical company with its own high-tech complete cycle production compliant with GMP and ISO standards. NANOLEK specialises in the production of import-substituting and innovative pharmaceuticals, both in-house developed and invented with the help of international partners, focusing on the prevention and treatment of socially significant diseases. The company has unique experience in the area of transfer of technologies as part of partnership with the leading international pharmaceutical companies (Merck, Sanofi, Novartis, Egis, Celltrion, Riemser, etc.)
The company is now one of the Russia’s leading producers of paediatric vaccines. NANOLEK’s diversified drug portfolio covers the following therapeutic areas: vaccines, drugs for treatment of HIV, oncological diseases, etc.
On August 14, 2019, Nanolek LLC was taken off the list of RUSNANO portfolio companies.
In 2020, Nanolek LLC was included in the list of systemic companies in Russia.
The decision to add the company to the list was made by the Government commission for improving the sustainability of the Russian economy. The business reference list is published on April 25, 2020 on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia.