Coronavirus

Russian vaccine: was the Sputnik V study tampered with?

NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP via Getty Images

Almost 40 experts working with the Italian molecular biologist Enrico Bucci expressed doubts about the study on the Russian vaccine “Sputnik V” at the beginning of September. Conspicuous duplications can be found in the diagrams. This could be a manipulation, for example with Photoshop. They write this in a “Note of Concern”.

The Russian researchers have now responded to these allegations. “We want to emphasize that all data presented were experimentally preserved and double-checked,” they write. The conspicuous patterns were created by chance.

Bucci and the other researchers had indicated that several subjects had the same antibody level in their blood on alternate days. The values ​​of the T cells were also identical – even though the test subjects received different forms of the vaccine.

“The authors have not presented any evidence to back up their claim that the repetitions are expected and plausible, nor have they offered access to the original data,” wrote Bucci on Wednesday when asked by Spiegel. “Without access to the detailed original data, the statements cannot be checked.”

There is now a further request to publish the data directly to the Russian researchers, said Bucci to Spiegel. Whether they comply with the request is, however, at their own discretion. “The process is incredible and shouldn’t be allowed in such important research.”

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