GUEST BLOG: Ross Meurant – WHY WONT GOVERNMENT ENDORSE SPUTNIK VACCINE?

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Is our access to vaccines influenced by major foreign pharmaceutical manufacturers? 

As at 26 March 2021 Minister Chris Hipkins announced New Zealand has 200,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine with nearly 10,000 immunised. But he warned supply issues will always be a factor for vaccines. (1)

The Lancet in February 2021 shows Sputnik V is 91.6 per cent effective after two doses and 73.1 per cent effective after one dose. (2)

Hipkins said New Zealand will not be buying the Sputnik V vaccine as it had already booked which vaccines it is purchasing but the vaccine could be sold privately if it passes Medsafe scrutiny. (3)

“As long as they follow all the rules,” he said. “They will have to apply to Medsafe and if they wanted to do that independent of the government and, if they approve it, it can be used. Some need Environmental Protection Agency approval as well.” (4)

  • Encouraging comments from the minister, you may consider?

Auckland University’s Dr Helen Petousis-Harris previously said Sputnik V vaccine would “never in a million years” enter New Zealand but concluded the latest test data is positive. She “would roll up her sleeve” if the vaccine passed Medsafe scrutiny. (5)

Media have recently exposed shortage of vaccine for New Zealand 

“Government is scrambling for ways to keep up the pace of the vaccine roll-out that has seen people racing to get jabs after the arrival of the Delta variant and the level 4 lockdown.

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“In the absence of securing more supplies, by the start of next week the Government could face a tough choice of deliberately slowing down its vaccine programme in the middle of a Covid-19 outbreak to ensure that the programme continues without running out of vaccine.

“While there are more than 4 million doses of the vaccine expected in October, there is a potential lean period of a fortnight or so from mid-September. The Government is understood to be keen to take advantage of the surge in demand for vaccines and ramp up the roll-out further by getting extra supply, but it needs to secure it first. (6)

One solution seems to be Janssen vaccine?  Provisionally approved by Medsafe, it is now promoted with the following level of – enthusiasm:

“The advisory centre’s director, Nikki Turner, told Morning Report the vaccine’s advantage was that it only required a single dose, although it was not known how long its effects would last.

“It’s acting very similar to other high-performing vaccines internationally, particularly probably more so against severe disease, which is the major output.”

“The Janssen vaccine could also “prevent transmission to some degree”, she said.

“However, Turner said the country is not likely to access the vaccine any time soon due to a world shortage, and also considering there was already supply available of another vaccine.

“There’s a world shortage of this vaccine, we can’t just go and get it immediately.

“My understanding from the international supply, the chance of getting it in before the end of the year is very slim. (7)

Meanwhile, Sputnik has been approved in 71 countries with a 91.6 per cent effective after two doses and 73.1 per cent effective after one dose.

A question which may begin to form in the minds of some readers is; “Why wont NZ Medsafe approve Sputnik?”

Be mindful also, that the process in NZ for government funding, also requires approval of Pharmac.

From my days as an MP listening to colleagues whose responsibilities included health (my 9 years were committed to Primary Industries and SOE’s) I do recall heated exchanges about the influence one particular foreign country was having on the importation, approval and funding of pharmaceuticals.  The contentious point was, to what extent was commercial gain being elevated over best medicines and humanitarian considerations?

This conundrum seems to be an enduring issue: 

“Pfizer raised the price of its Covid-19 vaccine by more than a quarter and Moderna by more than a tenth in the latest EU supply contracts as Europe battled supply disruption.” (8)

“New analysis by the Alliance shows that the firms Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are charging governments as much as USD$41 billion (NZD$58 billion) above the estimated cost of production.” (9)

Questions which do need to be answered include:

  • When New Zealand signs up to buy a vaccine, is it required to absolve the manufacturer of liability for – adverse events?
  • When New Zealand signs up to buy a vaccine, is it required to agree not to purchase vaccines from specified providers?

Answers to these questions may well assist readers to draw conclusions that  matters I was privy to being discussed in caucus between 1987 – 1996, remain as contentious.

  1. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300243728/former-mps-push-to-import-russias-sputnik-v-vaccine-as-phase-iii-results-published
  2. Ibid
  3. Ibid
  4. Ibid
  5. Ibid
  6. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300395151/covid-19-government-closing-in-on-a-scomostyle-deal-for-extra-vaccine-supply
  7. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/446477/janssen-vaccine-slim-chance-of-new-zealand-getting-supply-before-end-of-2021
  8. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/pfizer-and-moderna-ramp-up-eu-covid-vaccine-prices/KQNNDWAPURUFUKZRH5CIMWSOTA/
  9. https://www.oxfam.org.nz/news-media/media-releases/vaccine-monopolies-make-cost-of-vaccinating-the-world-against-covid-at-least-5-times-more-expensive-than-it-could-be/

 

Ross Meurant, graduate in politics both at university and as a Member of Parliament; formerly police inspector in charge of Auckland spies; currently Honorary Consul for an African state Trustee and CEO of Russian owned commercial assets in New Zealand and has international business interests.

 

19 COMMENTS

  1. I would SO so like to hear the answer to that question……
    …………’When New Zealand signs up to buy a vaccine, is it required to absolve the manufacturer of liability for – adverse events?’.
    And the follow up, if they are free from liability, who in the NZ Govt is liable because the manufacturer have been ‘absolved’?
    If it is so safe, why would they seek or be given ‘legal protection’?

    Look at ’emergency’ conditions and legal use of ‘trial’ drugs on humans.
    In there, there needs to be NO alternative available. Hence the sudden banning after 50 (Ivermectin) or 100 years (Hydroxichloroquine) of use of two drugs that do work and cost ‘diddly squat’, and have had ‘basically NO problems’, until recently.

    • You prefer being beholden to America or and others whose vaccines have less effectiveness.

      You prefer to impose your choice on other?

      What gives you the right to chose for others?

      • ,,,Our media, the Govt ,, and FoldArt above ,,,, are Anti-vaxxers when it comes to Vaccines developed by ‘enemy’ countries.

        They have and are politicizing medicine…..

        Presumably they are against an effective world-wide, humankind co-ordination against Covid ,,,, simply because Russia and China are for such a obviously logical approach.

        FoldArt is probably paranoid Sputnik contains Putins piss and pussy riots tears ,,,,

        ,,, Grow up OldFArt ,,, the cold war is over.

  2. Hey Ross – great article. It seems to me there is a political element in all of this – resentment against and distrust of the Russian people and Putin. Even though Putin is a figure that attracts international condemnation I would have thought a powerful vaccine, which the Sputnik vaccine seems to be, would outweigh this resentment as it would/could be a life-line to many countries including New Zealand where here, there are already questions about shortages/availability of the Pfizer vaccine.

    • Whose condemning Putin? US and UK neocons and their toadying Media. Meanwhile national leaders are beating a path to to Kremlin because Putin is one of the most astute leaders on the planet.
      No ones listening to China Joe (10% for the big guy) or bungling Boris.

    • Whose condemning Putin? US and UK neocons and their toadying Media. Meanwhile national leaders are beating a path to to Kremlin because Putin is one of the most astute leaders on the planet.
      No ones listening to China Joe (10% for the big guy) or bungling Boris.

  3. Total politicisation
    We take our news from the major news corps of senior five eyes countries .It becomes electorally impossible for any govt to import Sputnik if they want to be re elected
    That’s the way it works

  4. I’ve been asking by writing to the MoH why they have not made or if they have made any effort to acquire Sputnik V vaccine.
    All they can say is that they’ve ordered the usual shit and they are confident that they will have enough ‘supply’.
    This was over a period of at least the last 6 months numerous times when I asked! Wankas!
    It has 91% proven efficacy, and that’s reported by the Lancet journal as well as supported by the ‘proper’ medical sector.
    Wankas!

  5. The Sputnik Vaccine is superior to the Phizer vaccine. Sputnik doesn’t use the mRNA, or messenger RNA, a experimental procedure used in Phizers Vaccine production! Sputnik uses the existing & proven method of previous Vaccine manufacturing using the formula used in the previous SARS Epidemic, with adaptations to allow for the new strains! It also provides longer lasting cover rather than the 6 mths period the Phizer vaccine provides & is cheaper than the ripoff, price gouging American vaccines & more effective! The reasons why we aren’t getting Sputnik V in NZ is purely for Geopolitical reasons in order to appease the American Empire in its attempts to demonise anything to do with Russia & China? Why? Because both Russia & China are Sovereign Nations that are standing up to the Global Tyranny & Hegemony of the dying American Empire & NZ as a Western Nation, has to toe the line & align itself with this decrepit & dying Empire! America needs to create enemies to justify the One Trillion dollars of yearly Military expenditures for Wars it can’t win, so who better to provide as a scapegoat than Russia & China? So it’s RUSSIA,RUSSIA, RUSSIA or CHINA is Bad, AMERICA IS GOOD, Black & White simplicity that only Yanks can understand because their fuckin DUMB! The Afghanistan Defeat & America’s Humiliation at the hands of the raggedy assed Taliban confirmed the US is a Paper tiger, a Emperor with no clothes & incapable of winning any Wars! The folly of its delusional mindset of hubris & arrogance was exposed for all the World to see in the Afghanistan withdrawal & 20 yr Failure in that Country that achieved nothing? In History, this is one of the signs of a Empires impending collapse? The Taliban shattered America’s Exceptionalism jingoism & carefully propagandised image & ground it into the dust & proved that you needed more than superior Military might & firepower to win! And that’s WHY we’ll never get the Sputnik V Vaccine in NZ, Geopolitics taking precedence over common Medical sense? Vaccine Apartheid by a dying US Empire!

    • The Taliban were not the only winners when they evicted their empowerers ,,, the usa out of Afghanistan ,,,,

      ,,,As countryboy often states the Bankers , money men and the military industrial death cult capitalists were all big winners ,,, “Was the Afghanistan War a failure? Not for the top five defense contractors and their shareholders.” https://theintercept.com/2021/08/16/afghanistan-war-defense-stocks/

      The sabotaging against using our advanced human traits of collabarortion and co-ordination against Covid will be hugely profitable to Western big Pharma ,,,,

      Bowing down to greed Greed and pretending it is
      ‘Intellectual” has trumped public heath,,,, with this dangerous anti Science stupidity based on neo-lib right wing ideology raising private property rights above all else ,,,

      “Intellectual property rights” ,,,, make the denial of access to medicine when fighting disease sound like something smart to do ,,,,.

      Unequal Vaccine Distribution is Self-Defeating ,,, But as Ross posted ,,, “New analysis by the Alliance shows that the firms Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are charging governments as much as USD$41 billion (NZD$58 billion) above the estimated cost of production.”

      **********************************************
      This is a (older) screenshot from “Access Campaign” website, msfaccess.org, of a map showing which countries support or oppose the COVID-19 IP waiver. Doctors Without Borders are promoting a “Twitter storm” aimed at pressuring countries to waive certain patent protections during the pandemic.
      https://www.scross.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/AccessCamp2.jpg

      Biden changed his position but usa lackeys did the blocking for him.

  6. Israel and Russia have a long standing relationship.
    Ninites saw thousands of Russian emigrate to Israel.
    Russians were the first country to recognize Israel.
    Russia recognize the holocaust inflicted on Jewish people by Germans.

    Russia has been a long term ally of Syria but inspite of constant missile attacks by Israel into Syrian territory, there is NO media record of Putin ever threatening Israel.

    Lose talk, as you utter, invariably emanates from lose mind.

  7. Against my will, I have accepted the Pfizer vaccine because Sputnik V wasn’t available when I got my first jab today. Bugga.

    Let’s see what happens. Lets us see if those nanobots hook me up with free internet and, an endless supply of ‘tinfoil’. 🙂

Comments are closed.