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Monday, October 18, 2021

COVID news live: Oxford jab inventor says vaccine development gone ‘backwards’ as daily cases top 40,000 again

Sputnik V vaccine manufacturer calls claims Russia stole designs for the Oxford jab ‘a blatant lie’

A spokesman for the manufacturer of the Sputnik V vaccine has dismissed claims that it stole designs for the Oxford- AstraZeneca jab as “fake news and a blatant lie”.

A report in The Sun suggested that Russia made its Sputnik V jab after a foreign agent stole the blueprint for the Oxford vaccine.

In September 2020, Russia published the results of two early clinical trials indicating its Sputnik V vaccine was safe and effective.

However, a minister has refused to confirm whether the claims are true.

Home Office minister Damian Hinds would not be drawn on the allegations, instead saying more generally that “state activity” was involved in “industrial espionage”.

Downing Street has said accusations of intellectual property theft and cyberattacks were taken “extremely seriously”.

On Monday, Mr Hinds told LBC: “We live in world, I am afraid, where there is state activity seeking to engage in industrial espionage and economic espionage, there are cyber attacks that happen and so on.

“I won’t comment on the specific case that you mention because that wouldn’t be right to do in detail, but it would be fair to say, correct to say, that we face threats of this type that are different, they are more sophisticated, they are more extensive than they ever have been before.”

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