Study says Russia's COVID-19 vaccine appears safe, effective

Study says Russia's COVID-19 vaccine appears safe, effective”

As well as proving effective, it was also safe with no serious reactions linked to the vaccine during the trial.

'So despite the earlier misgivings about the way this Russian Sputnik V vaccine was rolled out more widely - ahead of sufficient Phase 3 trial data - this approach has been justified to some extent now.

"Russia was right all along", Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is responsible for marketing the vaccine overseas, told reporters on Tuesday. In the trial, participants were given one dose of rAd26-S, followed by a booster dose of rAd5-S 21 days later.

The team also analyzed the efficacy of the vaccine against severe and moderate Covid-19 disease and 21 days after the first dose no severe or moderate cases were reported in the vaccinated group, while 20 were reported in the placebo group.

The people in the trial were given PCR Covid-19 tests when they received the second shot. In the period after administering the the first shot, 16 cases of Covid-19 were found in the 14,964 people (0.1%) part of the vaccine group, while 62 infections were reported in the 4,902 individuals (1.3%) in the placebo group.

There were 2,144 volunteers over 60 in the Sputnik V trial and the shot was shown to be 91.8pc effective when tested on this older group, with no serious side-effects reported that could be associated with the vaccine, The Lancet summary said. And there may even be a fourth, with the Anglo-Swedish firm AstraZeneca and the developers of Sputnik V having said they are working to combine their respective vaccines.

The Russian vaccine uses a modified version of the adenovirus that causes the common cold to carry genes for the coronavirus' spike protein as a way to prime the body to react if the real coronavirus comes along.

To date, Argentina has received three shipments of the two-shot vaccine, receiving some 820,000 doses of the 19.4 million that Russian Federation has promised to provide by the end of the month.

"This aims to drive higher immune responses to the target "spike" by using two slightly different jabs", said Alexander Edwards, an associate professor in biomedical technology at the University of Reading in England.

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He said if you have two identical shots, it's possible the immune system doesn't get as big a boost from the second injection. It named it Sputnik V, in homage to the world's first satellite, launched by the Soviet Union. Last month, Putin ordered the effort to be expanded and for mass immunisations to start. Some Russian media questioned the number and suggested that the rollout has been much slower, with many Russian regions reporting small numbers of vaccinations.

The sovereign wealth fund also said vaccinations using Sputnik V will begin in a dozen countries including Bolivia, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and Iran.

Asked about the increased interest in the Russian vaccine and the possibility of its approval in the EU, Stefan de Keersmaecker, the European Commission spokesperson for public health and food safety, did not rule out the possibility of striking a deal for the vaccine.

This was "particularly encouraging" while supply of the vaccine is limited, they added.

The European Commission said Monday (1 February) the shortfall in deliveries from Anglo-Swedish firm AstraZeneca had forced it to recalibrate its early coronavirus vaccination strategy.

Sputnik V has the advantage of being relatively cheap and able to be kept at normal refrigerator temperatures rather than far below freezing for some other vaccines.

The UK Government, which has spent £2billion on pre-orders for 360million vaccines made by seven different developers, has so far made it clear it has no plans to purchase supplies from Russian Federation.

Tang said that Tuesday's interim results have, to some extent, justified Russian Federation giving the vaccine to people before phase 3 trial results.

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