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Brazil Declines to Approve Sputnik V

Health regulators in Brazil have declined to approve Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the Washington Post reports.

While Russia's quick approval of the vaccine last August, developed by researchers at the Gamaleya Institute, raised eyebrows as it had not finished phase III testing at the time, the researchers later reported in the Lancet that Sputnik V was safe and had 91.6 percent efficacy in preventing COVID-19.

But the Post reports that Brazilian regulators have raised concerns about the vaccine, namely about the lack of quality control and efficacy data as well as the limited information on side effects. "Flaws … were identified in all stages of clinical studies," Brazil's Health Regulatory Agency, or Anvisa, says in a statement, according to the Post. Anvisa adds that there weren't "any manufacturing conditions identified that demonstrate that the products are consistently produced and controlled."

According to the Post, the developers of the vaccine countered that the decision was political and has "nothing to do with access to information or science."

The Scan

Possibly as Transmissible

Officials in the UK say the B.1.617.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2 may be as transmitted as easily as the B.1.1.7 variant that was identified in the UK, New Scientist reports.

Gene Therapy for SCID 'Encouraging'

The Associated Press reports that a gene therapy appears to be effective in treating severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome.

To Watch the Variants

Scientists told US lawmakers that SARS-CoV-2 variants need to be better monitored, the New York Times reports.

Nature Papers Present Nautilus Genome, Tool to Analyze Single-Cell Data, More

In Nature this week: nautilus genome gives peek into its evolution, computational tool to analyze single-cell ATAC-seq data, and more.