The head of Rospotrebnadzor, Anna Popova, dismissed the head of the Vector research center, Rinat Maksyutov, due to violations of anti-corruption laws and due to the identification of a conflict of interest. This was stated by the press service of the department.
“The reason for the termination of labor relations with the director of the State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology Vector Rinat Maksyutov was a violation of the law “On Combating Corruption” and a conflict of interest,” the release says, cited by RIA Novosti.
Rospotrebnadzor took measures “to suppress the revealed facts” of violations of anti-corruption laws, the department added, TASS writes. The federal service also noted that Vector continues to work.
Kommersant specified that Maksyutov was fired with the wording “due to loss of confidence.” Popova signed the order to dismiss the head of Vector on May 16, and on May 18, the employment contract was terminated with him, the newspaper wrote.
Maksyutov has worked at Vector, one of the largest scientific virological and biotechnological centers in Russia, since 2003. He was appointed head of the institution in 2016.
Among the developments of Vector is the EpiVacCorona coronavirus vaccine. The drug was launched into civilian circulation in December 2020, before the publication of the results of the first two phases of clinical trials and the completion of the third. Experts have repeatedly questioned the effectiveness of the vaccine. For example, in January 2022, researchers from the European University published a paper in which they analyzed the effectiveness of several Russian vaccines and concluded that it was negative for EpiVacCorona. Vector said the experts used too small a sample to evaluate the effectiveness of the vaccine.