Sputnik Sputters in Vax Race?

Following Pfizer's news that its COVID-19 vaccine shows 90% efficacy, Russia rushed to report that its Sputnik V vaccine candidate shows 92% efficacy, Nature reports.

Russia's report doesn’t pass the“smell test” for many, according to Science. In fact, it's “being met with raised eyebrows—and some outright guffaws.” Its report covers just 20 total COVID-19 cases in the vaccinated and placebo groups—fewer than the 94 detailed in the Pfizer analysis.

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration “wouldn’t have accepted a report on 20 cases,” says Weill Cornell Medical College vaccine researcher John Moore.

Also failing the smell test? Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla sold $5.6 million in stock Monday, the same day Pfizer’s promising results sent its stock soaring, NPR reports.

Pfizer insists the sale was part of a pre-set stock trading plan.

“If this isn't a wake-up call for the SEC … I don't know what it is,” said Daniel Taylor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, flagging similar concerns surrounding Moderna’s vaccine candidate.

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