A Russian scientist who helped create the Sputnik V vaccine was strangled in his apartment in Moscow

Andrei Botikov

Andrei Botikovone of the 18 scientists who worked to create the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 in 2020, was reportedly killed in northwest Moscow during a domestic dispute, according to the independent media outlet jellyfish. Botikov was an employee of the Gamaleya National Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow.

An employee of the Moscow Investigative Committee revealed to the independent media, without confirming the name of the victim, that a 29-year-old man entered Botikov’s apartment and then strangled him with a belt.

Later, a source RIA Novosti reported that the victim was Andrey Botikov, one of the lead researchers in the development of the Russian vaccine. The alleged assailant has already pleaded guilty to the murder charges.

Russian media reported that the suspect, known as Alexei Z.had already spent 10 years in prison accused of providing sexual services.

Botikov was a senior research scientist at the Gamaleya Center. Along with others involved in the development of the vaccine against COVID-19, he received a medal “for merit to the country.”

The press service of the Gamaleya Center refrained from comment, writes RBCand recommended contacting law enforcement agencies.

Before being involved in the development of Sputnik V, Botikov had worked at the Russian State Collection of Viruses DI Ivanovsky Institute of Virology as a senior scientist.

A photo shows the production of vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) near Moscow
Sputnik was the first registered combined vector vaccine against COVID-19, on August 11 (The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)/Andrey Rudakov/Handout via REUTERS) (Russian Direct Investment Fund/)

Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) is a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, named after Honorary Academician NF Gamaleya, of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.

Sputnik was the first registered combined vector vaccine against COVID-19, on August 11, 2020. It was also criticized for having seen the green light in Russia, when the results of the advanced clinical stage, the so-called phase 3, were not yet available.

Created artificially, without any element of the coronavirus in its composition, it is presented in lyophilized form, that is, as a powder that is mixed with an excipient to dissolve it and then administered intramuscularly.

The drug uses a human adenovirus technology from two different vectors, Bd5 and Bd26, for a first and a second injection. However, Sputnik V does not contain live human adenoviruses, but human adenoviral vectors that are not capable of multiplying and are completely safe for health.

It builds on an existing two-vector vaccine platform, developed in 2015 to treat Ebola, which has passed all phases of clinical trials and was used to defeat the Ebola epidemic in Africa in 2017.

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