RUSSIA has reportedly copied the formula of the AstraZeneca jab and used it to help make its own vaccine, according to new reports.
Ministers have been informed Russia took the formula from the Oxford vaccine, a recent report found. According to security services reported in The Sun, they have evidence one of President Putin’s spies swiped the vital data to create the Sputnik vaccine.
Russia’s Sputnik jab uses a similar technology to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Sputnik V came out in August 2020 and the vaccine has been approved in around 70 countries, including Serbia.
However, the World Health Organisation has said global approval is still under review due to issues a few months ago at a production plant.
Last year, spies said they were “more than 95 percent” sure Russian state-sponsored hackers had targeted US, British and Canadian bodies who were developing a Covid vaccine.
Tory MP Bob Seely, an expert in Russian affairs, told The Sun: “I think we need to get serious about Russian and Chinese espionage.
“Whether it is stealing the design for Astra- Zeneca or blackmailing us over energy by these authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, we need to get wise to them.”
The late Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire said at the time: “We are very careful in terms of calling these things out, ensuring we can have that confidence in attribution.
“We believe we have this here.”
The Russian jab was produced by a state-backed laboratory and funded by the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a Kremlin-run cash pot.
Almost 33 percent of Russia’s 146 million people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and 29 percent have been fully vaccinated.
Whereas in the UK, 67.2 percent of the population are fully vaccinated – amounting to over 45 million people.
On Thursday, the daily coronavirus death toll in Russia reached 900 for a second consecutive day.
Despite the high death rate, the Kremlin has rejected the idea of imposing a new nationwide lockdown.
On Friday, a World Health Organization official said legal issues slowing down the review of Sputnik vaccine were “about to be sorted out.”