Namibia has announced that it would stop distributing Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, days after South Africa’s pharmaceuticals regulator expressed concerns about the vaccine’s safety for HIV-positive people.
The decision to suspend usage was made out of an abundance of caution over the likelihood that males who received Sputnik V were at a greater risk of contracting HIV, according to Namibia’s health ministry, which added that it had taken SAHPRA’s decision into consideration.
For the time being, SAHPRA decided not to approve an emergency use application for Sputnik V since some research has linked vaccines with the Adenovirus Type 5 vector – which Sputnik V includes – to higher HIV susceptibility in men.
Namibia’s decision, according to the Gamaleya Research Institute, was not based on scientific facts or research.
Sputnik V is a COVID-19 adenovirus viral vector vaccine produced by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.
According to the Gamaleya institute, Sputnik V is still one of the safest and most effective COVID-19 vaccines in use worldwide. More than 250 clinical trials and 75 international publications validated the safety of vaccines and treatments based on human adenovirus vectors, according to the company.
Namibia declared that the suspension will be in force until the World Health Organization categorized Sputnik V as an emergency usage. It will, however, offer a second dosage of Sputnik V to individuals who have already received one.