Journalist: Earlier, you said that it is nonsense, that a Ukrainian vaccine cannot be registered on the Ukrainian market. Why?
Serhiy Kravchenko: Everything that is happening in Ukraine, everything that is directly related to vaccine prevention, coronavirus disease, has already turned into some kind of obscurantism. Back in February 2020, WHO held the first technical committee on the development of vaccines, defined the criteria, procedures and made recommendations to all countries of the world in order to switch to the emergency registration procedure for the Covid-19 vaccine due to the fact that it is necessary to overcome this emergency in a short time. If you follow the full procedure, then it takes a very long time: from 5 to 10-12 years. If we wait so long, then our pandemic will already end, and it is not known with what consequences. Therefore, such a recommendation was made to the WHO. This committee has been working continuously since February. There is no representative from Ukraine. From the Russian Federation – Denys Lagunov, deputy director of the Gamaliya center, developer of the Sputnik V vaccine. Moreover, even during the time of Ulyana Suprun, Ukraine was deprived of the right to vote in WHO due to the fact that it did not pay contributions.
Authorities say it is impossible to register a Russian vaccine on the Ukrainian market. You say the opposite.
I note the craftiness of the state authorities of Ukraine because they refer to the fact that Ukraine cannot register vaccines against Covid-19, which have not completed the third phase of clinical trials. So, at the moment, 8 vaccines have been registered in the world under the emergency registration procedure, and none of these vaccines have completed the third phase of clinical trials.
So the President lied, and he did it absolutely shamelessly.
The global COVAX initiative turned out to be in deficit for the 21st year at $ 20 billion. The state authorities of Ukraine expected to receive the Pfizer vaccine from COVAX. And they plan to complete the third phase of clinical trials in 2023. Regarding the vaccine of the Moderna company, also American, which Ukraine partially counted on thanks to COVAX, the third phase of clinical trials is planned for 2022. The third phase of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was developed by the University of Oxford, will end in 2023. They are already registered and in use, but registered under the emergency registration procedure recommended by WHO. A complete dossier on these vaccines will be completed after the third phase of clinical trials. The situation is the same for the four Chinese vaccines.
The President of Ukraine said that Ukraine will purchase the Chinese vaccine.
Four Chinese vaccines are now registered under the emergency registration procedure. Since June, these vaccines have been used in China on a temporary registration basis to overcome the epidemic in Hubei province and Wuhan city. Two viral vaccines produced by Sinopharm: one vector vaccine - an analogue, but incomplete, of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and a viral vaccine by Sinovac. They are also registered under the emergency registration procedure. They have not completed the third phase of clinical trials. CanSino and Sinovac plan to complete clinical trials by the end of 21 years, and one of Sinopharma's vaccines in 2022. WHO has listed 8 vaccines, including Russia's Sputnik V, which have been registered under the emergency registration procedure and which have now begun to be used.
Vector vaccines are in the first place for me anyway. No wonder most of the companies and research centers that develop vaccines are now working on vector vaccines. This technology is used in the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, the American Johnson & Johnson, and the Chinese CanSino. Vector technologies are the most studied, advanced, the safest, in terms of immunogenic effectiveness, they are in the first place. Considering that the RF vaccine is a two-component vaccine, then, of course, it now occupies the first place, because the very idea of a two-component vaccine is very interesting, very effective. Good immunogenicity effect, epidemiological effect, and it is perfectly used for prime-boost vaccination.
Is it possible to register it?
Why not, if the whole world has switched to the emergency registration procedure? We have a law of Ukraine on medicines.
And what then are the state authorities guided by when they say that this cannot be done?
Because they are crooks. These same hucksters are now in power. They are not interested in anything except earnings. Moreover, in order to simplify this procedure in their corrupt earnings, they asked for some changes to the current legislation of Ukraine. Under the guise of fighting a global pandemic, we have developed a package of legislative initiatives.
You said that Minister Stepanov would be fired, that Lyashko was Suprun's puppet.
In order not to be fired, he ran away on sick leave. Delayed this process until the New Year. And now it is planned to change the entire Cabinet of Ministers. I know that both Yulia Tymoshenko and Ihor Palytsia were discussed as candidates for PM’s office. And the main candidate for the Minister of Health is Lyashko. The president loves him. Maybe they are intellectually close people.
What would be your best candidacy?
If from a pro-government team, that is, National Security and Defense Council Deputy Secretary Oleksiy Soloviov. He is a professional person. But he has one problem – he is married to the niece of Mykola Azarov.
How about Komarovsky?
He doesn't want to. In order to overcome all this mess, you need a person with a strong core, with character. I would recommend the director of Shalimov’s Institute of surgery and transplantation Oleksandr Usenko.
We see that there is news that people who were vaccinated with the Russian vaccine still get the coronavirus. Why is this happening?
People who get vaccinated with other vaccines also get sick. But they carry this disease in a milder form. It is impossible to achieve a 100% effect when working with RVIs, which include Covid-19 and which is also a particularly dangerous infectious disease. If you take the measles vaccine, then there are still some casuistic cases when a vaccinated patient gets sick. Our task when vaccinating against Covid-19 is to influence the overall mortality rate, to reduce it as much as possible with the help of vaccine prevention. And we can achieve this with the help of a vaccine, and not only the Russian one. I just think that it is as balanced as possible and is a priority choice for our country, given what technology gives us. Of the vector vaccines, Sputnik V comes first, followed by AstraZeneca. Gamaliya Center and Oxford are collaborating. In third place is the vaccine of the Johnson & Johnson company, then the Chinese CanSino. Then there are viral vaccines. And the Pfizer vaccine is based on unexplored technologies that have never been applied to humans. The third phase of testing will end in 2023, then we will know the long-term results. The vaccine is not balanced, not stable, storage temperature – minus 70 degrees. They could not add a stabilizer and a preservative there, because, apparently, with the addition of a stabilizer and a preservative, this vaccine turns into an explosive mixture. Minus 70 degrees is the temperature of liquid nitrogen. As for the Moderna vaccine, which is also based on the messenger RNA platform, they were able to stabilize and balance it a little.
When will the vaccine appear in Ukraine?
The first to appear is the Sputnik V vaccine.
How do you assess the government's statement that there will be a Chinese vaccine soon?
There will be no Chinese vaccine on the territory of Ukraine in the near future due to the fact that we were once again deceived. Two Ukrainian companies - Medical Procurement of Ukraine and Lekhim - signed an agreement between themselves for the supply of a Chinese vaccine that has not yet been fully registered and does not exist. We have the Lekhim company, which in June negotiated with the Sinovac company to sign an agreement on the distribution and purchase of the future vaccine. They signed the distribution agreement, but there is no information about the supply agreement. One Ukrainian company is, as it were, a distributor of a Chinese company, and the second is a state-owned company ... We signed a contract for the supply of a Chinese vaccine, which has not yet been finally registered in China itself. I think that the Sinovac company does not even assume that the two Ukrainian companies have signed an agreement between themselves on the supply of vaccines to the territory of Ukraine.
Why is the EU in no hurry to provide Ukraine with a vaccine? We're partners, aren't we?
The population of the EU is 500 million. And what about your partners in filigree cava? You shouldn't expect help from the EU. And the US has 335 million of its own population, plus Canada 35 million and Mexico 126 million.
And Russia’s population is 150 million, but it supplies its vaccine to other countries.
They have a different situation – they do not have a commercial struggle for the market among themselves. In addition, they have developed three vaccines. Russia does not experience any problems in the development of vaccines. In addition, many interim clinical trials of other vaccines took place on the territory of the Russian Federation. The Russian Federation is diversifying its risks, so they will use about five of their own vaccines and, in addition, most likely, Chinese and British vaccines will be registered. They will resort to them if necessary. In order to give the right to choose to citizens, they create conditions for registration. This is a normal adequate policy of a sane state, and not the Ukrainian one in which we live now.
At the moment, the Lekhim company has submitted documents to the Ministry of Health for registration of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. If the Ministry of Health and the state expert center delay this registration process or refuse to register for far-fetched reasons, then the registration of the Sputnik V vaccine in Ukraine will take place by a court decision.