Home / News / World /  Sputnik V Covid vaccine: WHO in talks with Russian institute, says report

The World Health Organization (WHO) is in discussions with the Russian institute that developed the Sputnik V vaccine candidate against COVID-19 over its potential application for emergency use listing, the UN agency said on Thursday.

In a statement to Reuters, the WHO said: "We look forward to receiving the data for their Sputnik V candidate vaccine. If a product submitted for assessment is found to meet the criteria for listing, WHO will publish the results widely."

By granting the vaccine emergency use listing, the WHO would effectively be recommending its use to member states.

On Wednesday, developers of Sputnik V, RDIF and Gamaleya Institute, announced interim data from a large trial suggests the shot appears to be 92% effective.

The statement, which did not include detailed information about the trial, comes just two days after a similar one from Pfizer Inc., but is based on far fewer virus cases. Some experts suggest the data may have been rushed out in an effort to keep up with the worldwide race for a successful coronavirus vaccine.

Russia touted Sputnik V, a two-shot vaccine, as the world's first to receive a government go-ahead after it was approved in early August without completing advanced testing. The move drew considerable criticism from experts who said data from tens of thousands of people were needed to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine before it is given widely.

Russian officials announced advanced studies among 40,000 volunteers two weeks after it received government approval. On Wednesday, Russia's Direct Investment Fund that bankrolled the effort announced that an analysis of the early data of the study showed that the vaccine "had an efficacy rate of 92%."

The interim analysis looked at 20 confirmed coronavirus infections registered so far among over 16,000 volunteers who received both of the two shots of either the vaccine or the placebo, the Fund's statement said. More than 20,000 trial participants have so far received just one shot.

With inputs from agencies

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