Andrey Botikov was a Russian virologist who helped develop the country’s COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V. He was found dead in his apartment in Moscow on March 2, 2023, in a suspected murder case. Here are some facts about his life, career, achievements, and death.
Early Life and Education
Andrey Botikov was born in Moscow, Russia, on October 22, 1976. He graduated from the Moscow State University in 1998 with a degree in biology. He then pursued his PhD in virology at the Gamaleya National Research Center for Ecology and Mathematics, where he later worked as a senior researcher.
Andrey Botikov Career and Achievements
Botikov had worked as a virologist at the Gamaleya Research Institute since 2002 and was part of the team responsible for the national vaccine, one of 18 scientists who put the Sputnik V jab on the market in express time. He specialized in studying viral respiratory tract infections, such as influenza and coronavirus.
Sputnik V was the first COVID-19 vaccine registered worldwide on August 11, 2020. It claimed to have an efficacy of 91 percent, far higher than other vaccines. However, it faced skepticism and criticism from the international community due to Russian researchers’ lack of transparency and data sharing.
Botikov was one of the authors of several scientific papers published in peer-reviewed journals, such as The Lancet and Nature Communications, that reported the results of the clinical trials and the safety and immunogenicity of Sputnik V. He also participated in public events and media interviews to promote and defend the vaccine.
In 2021, Botikov was awarded the Order of Merit for the Fatherland by Russian President Vladimir Putin for his contribution to developing the COVID-19 vaccine. He was also recognized by various scientific organizations and associations for his achievements.
Andrey Botikov Personal Life and Net Worth
Botikov was married and had two children, a son and a daughter. He lived in a spacious apartment on Rogova Street in Moscow. Some sources say his net worth was around $10 million at his death.
Andrey Botikov Death and Investigation
Botikov was found dead in his apartment on March 2, 2023, with strangulation marks on his neck. He also had several stab wounds and abrasions on his body. The Investigative Committee of Russia (ICR) opened a murder investigation and arrested a suspect, Alexei Z., a 29-year-old former convict who had spent 10 years in prison for providing sex services.
According to the ICR, Alexei Z. confessed to killing Botikov during an argument over money. He allegedly strangled him with a belt and fled the scene with some valuables from the apartment. The ICR said that they had established the crime’s motive and circumstances and were conducting further investigations.
Botikov’s death shocked and saddened his colleagues, friends and family. They described him as a brilliant scientist, a devoted father, and a kind person. They also expressed gratitude for his work on the COVID-19 vaccine that saved millions of lives worldwide.