Russian spies acquired the design for the life-saving Oxford/AstraZeneca jab and utilised it to construct their own Sputnik V jab and win the race to produce the world’s first effective coronavirus vaccine.
Security sources are said to have told UK ministers that they had proof that Kremlin agents stole the Covid vaccine plan and used it to create their own vaccine.
According to The Sun, the blueprint and crucial documents were stolen in person by a foreign spy.
Damian Hinds, the Security Minister, declined to corroborate the claims but claimed cyber-assaults were growing more sophisticated.
According to security sources, a Moscow mole in the UK physically obtained the highly secret design – although it is unclear if this was a paper from the pharma giant’s lab or factory or a vial of the final drug smuggled out of the country for examination.
MI5 operatives have previously stated that Russian hackers attempted multiple cyber strikes on Oxford University beginning in March 2020, around a month after British scientists revealed they had begun researching a vaccine.
Oxford/AZ announced the start of the first human trials in April of last year, but Moscow announced the following month that they had invented their own vaccine, and by August, Vladimir Putin gave a TV address to the Russian people declaring that Russia had won the global race to develop the first Covid-19 vaccine.
It was eventually discovered that Sputnik V operates in the same manner as its British cousin.
Both are viral vector vaccines, which means they employ a latent virus to transport the immune agent that ultimately destroys the coronavirus.
According to the sequence of events, Moscow might have taken the blueprint during the initial human experiments in the UK.
(With inputs from agencies)