The Lancet medical publication said Thursday it had asked authors of a study on a potential Russian Covid-19 vaccine for clarifications after their research came under scrutiny.
Russia announced final month that its vaccine, named “Sputnik V” after the Soviet-era satellite that used to be the first launched into space in 1957, had already received approval.
This raised concerns among Western scientists over a lack of safety data, with some warning that moving too quickly on a vaccine could be dangerous.
Russian researchers published their trial findings final week in the Lancet, meaning their research had undergone review from a selection of their peers.
Also read: Russia in touch with India over vaccine trials, manufacturing
It said that the vaccine had proven to be “secure and well-tolerated” among a couple of dozen volunteers.
On the other hand an open letter signed this week by more than 30 Europe-based experts cast doubt on the findings, pointing towards “potential data inconsistencies”.
The researchers identified what they said looked to be numerous duplications in figures presented and concluded that the data inside the study used to be “highly unlikely” to be right.
The lead study creator used to be quoted Thursday by Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency saying he rejected the letter’s claims.
A spokeswoman for The Lancet told AFP that they were aware of the open letter.
“We have shared the letter directly with the authors and encouraged them to engage in the scientific discussion,” she said.
The spokeswoman added that the research had been reviewed by independent experts before journal.
The pandemic has seen an unprecedented mobilisation of underwriting and research to hurry through a vaccine that can give protection to billions of people worldwide.
Pharma giant AstraZeneca said this week it used to be halting Phase 3 trials of its candidate vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, after one volunteer fell ill.