‘A Completely New Platform, Never Studied or Used Before’: mRNA by Pfizer vs. Sputnik V Viral Vectors
One of the biggest headlines of recent days has been the announcement made by Pfizer, a U.S.-based company, and BioNTech, Germany, that BNT162b2, a COVID-19 vaccine they are developing, has proved to be 90% effective in its Phase 3 clinical trial. The news was met with big excitement all over the world. However, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is based on a new platform, which is still understudied. According to protocol, its trial will be complete only in 2022. IQ talked to Larisa Popovich, Director of the HSE Institute for Health Economics, about the differences between the U.S.-German and the Russian Sputnik V vaccines, and about the chances of beating COVID-19 with massive immunization in the upcoming months.
Mental health disorders are among the leading worldwide causes of disease and long-term disability. This issue has a long and painful history of gradual de-stigmatization of patients, coinciding with humanization of therapeutic approaches. What are the current trends in Russia regarding this issue and in what ways is it similar to and different from Western countries? IQ.HSE provides an overview of this problem based on research carried out by Svetlana Kolpakova.
Researchers from HSE, Northumbria University, and Aarhus University have experimentally confirmed the hypothesis, whereby comprehension of a word’s meaning involves not only the ‘classic’ language brain centres but also the cortical regions responsible for the control of body muscles, such as hand movements. The resulting brain representations are, therefore, distributed across a network of locations involving both areas specialised for language processing and those responsible for the control of the associated action. The results have been published in the journal Neuropsychologia.
December 1 marked World AIDS Day, the purpose of which is to increase global awareness of the disease. Researchers from HSE’s campus in St. Petersburg have spent the last two years studying a movement of individuals called ‘AIDS dissidents,’ or people who deny the existence of AIDS. Peter Meylakhs, Senior Research Fellow with the International Centre for Health Economics, Management, and Policy at HSE St. Petersburg, discusses some of his research results below.
Interesting work, the desire to help patients, and money – these are the three key factors which motivate Russian doctors to perform, while career ambitions remain a secondary consideration, according to HSE research. Alexander Temnitsky, Leading Research Fellow of the HSE Centre for Health Policy, studied Russian doctors’ personal motives driving their performance between 2007 and 2014.
HSE School of Data Analysis and Artificial Intelligence is conducting research for Federal Research Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Immunology on how the treatment response might vary depending on the patient's physiology, such as the state of the internal organs and blood, and what the role of genetics is.
Over the past two decades, the average life expectancy in Russia has increased by 2.3 years for women and 1.4 years for men, according to a recently published paper based on the WHO's Global Burden of Disease (GBD) assessment – a major epidemiological study by a group of international experts, including Vasily Vlassov, Professor of the HSE Department of Health Care Administration and Economy.
Overall, Russians tend to be satisfied with their country's health care system, particularly when they do not need to deal with it; however, those with recent first-hand experience of healthcare often complain about the lack of professionalism and the decline in free medical services, according to Sergey Shishkin, Head of HSE's Department of Health Care Administration and Economy, and Natalia Kochkinaand Marina Krasilnikova, sociologists with the Levada Centre, in their paper Health Care Service Availability and Quality as Assessed by the Russian Public.