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Russia claims its COVID-19 vaccine is over 90% effective

Interim results come from first 16,000 participants to receive two doses of the vaccine

Vladimir Putin

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, has announced that its Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 is 92% effective.

The vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Institute, consists of two strains of adenoviruses, which usually cause the common cold and are used to carry the gene for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

Interim results from the first 16,000 participants to receive both shots of the vaccine indicate that the Sputnik V – a name which refers to the first artificial earth satellite launched by the Soviet Union – is 92% effective 21 days after the first dose.

This analysis was conducted after 20 participants in the trial contracted COVID-19 and evaluated how many of the infections occurred between the vaccinated and placebo groups.

The RDIF said that currently 40,000 volunteers are taking part in the phase 3 Sputnik V trials, out of which 20,000 have been vaccinated with the first dose and over 16,000 have received both the first and second doses of the vaccine.

In August, Russia became the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V.

The approval came before large-scale phase 3 safety trials of the vaccine had been completed, with the newest late-stage results coming two months after the initial regulatory authorisation.

Immediately after the vaccine’s approval, Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured) maintained that the vaccine was safe for use, despite concerns being raised by health experts across the world.

In a report published in the Lancet, details from two early phase 1/2 studies of Sputnik V demonstrated that all participants given the vaccine developed antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus within three weeks.

Participants in these two studies were aged between 18 and 60 years and were monitored for 42 days following initial dosing with the vaccine candidate.

The RDIF has now submitted Sputnik V to the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use listing, a process that is designed to enable potential vaccines to become available globally at a faster rate.

The vaccine has also been submitted for a WHO prequalification, which indicates the quality, safety and efficacy of a vaccine.

On Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech reported the first late-stage results from their COVID-19 vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, announcing that preliminary data indicates the vaccine is over 90% effective.

The interim analysis of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine was conducted after 94 participants in the study contracted COVID-19, and the study is set to continue until 164 cases have occurred in total.

The partner companies maintained that the final vaccine efficacy percentage could change as the study continues.

Pfizer and BioNTech also expect to have a median of two months of safety data available by the third week of November, following the second dose of BNT162b2.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

11th November 2020

From: Research

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