Russia’s COVID-19 Vaccine Is 91 Percent Effective: Study


Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V is 91 percent effective and appears to prevent serious infection cases, according to a study published Tuesday.

The results in the British medical journal The Lancet come from a phase 3 study with around 20,000 people in Russia last fall.

Concerns about the safety of the two-dose sting increased after Russia approved Sputnik V in August – ahead of its Western competitors and before large clinical trials began.

At the time, President Vladimir Putin said one of his daughters had been vaccinated with it, even though it had only been tested on several dozen people.

The most recent study enrolled around 20,000 participants over the age of 18 in 25 Moscow hospitals between September and November. Three quarters received two doses of Sputnik V every 21 days, the rest received placebos.

The most common side effects were flu-like symptoms, injection site pain and tiredness. Serious side effects were rare in both groups. Four deaths have been reported, but none were considered a result of the vaccine.

The study also enrolled more than 2,100 people over 60, with the vaccine showing greater than 92 percent effectiveness. “

A medical worker holds a syringe with the Gam-COVID-Vac (Sputnik V).
A medical worker holds a syringe with the Gam-COVID-Vac (Sputnik V).
Valentin Sprinchak / TASS

The Russian vaccine is similar to that developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Both use a modified version of the common cold adenovirus to carry genes for the spike protein in the coronavirus and cause the body to respond to a COVID infection.

In contrast to AstraZeneca / Oxford’s shot, the Russian version uses a slightly different adenovirus for the second booster shot.

“This aims to get a higher immune response to the target tip by using two slightly different shocks,” said Alexander Edwards, associate professor of biomedical technology at the University of Reading, UK, who was not linked to the Russian research Associated Press.

Some experts say the altered booster shot could be the reason the Russian vaccine outperformed AstraZeneca’s, which has an effectiveness rate of around 60 to 70 percent.

Putin ordered last month that mass vaccination should begin in the country. According to the TASS news agency, 700 million people can be vaccinated this year.

In December, the Russian scientist behind Sputnik V said the shock could offer two years of protection against COVID-19.

A batch of 40,000 doses of Sputnik V was delivered on Tuesday to Hungary, the first member of the European Union to approve and order the vaccine.

Sputnik V has also been approved in over a dozen countries, and more than 50 countries have submitted applications for 2.4 billion doses.

With postal wires

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