russia covid vaccine
© Russian Direct Investment Fund / Handout
Russia's vaccine has been dubbed "Sputnik" after the pioneering Soviet satellite.
The Trump Administration has apparently dumped "Vladimir's vaccine," as well as a Russian offer of "unprecedented cooperation," in the quest to develop a COVID-19 vaccine as part of Operation Warp Speed (OWS).

An administration official told CNN the "U.S. is not currently open" to acquiring the Russian vaccine named "Sputnik V." OWS has widespread misgivings about the vaccine's safety and efficacy. Another official confirms the administration hasn't purchased any quantity of the vaccine and none are in the possession of the U.S. government.

Other U.S. officials assailed the rapidly produced vaccine as so untrustworthy it can't generate serious interest in the U.S. medical community. The alleged vaccine has developed such a high degree of distrust in the U.S. that one government official was quoted as saying, "There's no way in hell the U.S. tries this (Russian vaccine) on monkeys, let alone people."

Undeterred by its vaccine's sullied reputation, Russia still offered Sputnik 5 to the Trump Administration for inclusion in OWS, the national program spearheading the effort to develop and distribute a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. The administration passed on the offer.

Reacting to the snub, a senior Russian official acknowledged a general sense of mistrust of Russia in the U.S. He said the suspicion is preventing the Russian vaccine, testing and treatments from being adopted in U.S.

The scant and unverified details released by Russia about Sputnik V is fueling the hands-off attitude in the U.S. Russia hasn't released any scientific data on the vaccine's testing. It also hasn't provided verifiable proof about the vaccine's alleged safety and efficacy.

Russia has so far released no published data about the vaccine's phase 1 or phase 2 trials. Russian scientists, however, claim they completed Phase 2 testing the first week of August and are now into international phase 3 tests while at the same time vaccinating medical workers. Western medical experts assailed this method, saying it's not allowed under stricter U.S. and European medical safety regulations.

The Phase 3 tests revealed Wednesday apparently involve only 2,000 people in Russia and several Middle Eastern and Latin American countries. In the West, a phase 3 trial involves testing tens of thousands of people.

Russian president Vladimir Putin earlier this week said full-scale production of Sputnik V, named for the breakthrough Soviet space mission, will begin in September. He claims one of his two daughters was inoculated twice with the vaccine.