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Russia became the first country in the world to register a COVID-19 vaccine in August (AP)
Russia became the first country in the world to register a COVID-19 vaccine in August (AP)

COVID-19 vaccine: Sputnik V 92% effective against coronavirus, claims Russia

  • The interim results are based on data from the first 16,000 trial participants
  • Russian Direct Investment Fund inked a deal with Dr. Reddy's Laboratories to conduct a clinical trial and distribution of Sputnik V in India

Sputnik V, Russia's experimental COVID-19 vaccine is 92% effective at protecting people from coronavirus, according to interim trial results, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Wednesday. The interim results are based on data from the first 16,000 trial participants to receive both shots of the two-dose vaccine, the country's sovereign wealth fund said.

Russia became the first country in the world to register a COVID-19 vaccine in August. Developed by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian defence ministry, the vaccine is currently under late-stage trial in Moscow. The phase III trial will involve 40,000 volunteers in total, with a quarter receiving a placebo shot.

The chances of contracting COVID-19 were 92% lower among people vaccinated with Sputnik V than those who received the placebo, the RDIF said. "We are showing, based on the data, that we have a very effective vaccine," said RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev.

Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya National Research Centre, said that vaccine used inanimate particles created on the basis of adenovirus, according to Sputnik News. He earlier stated there are no concerns that the vaccine could potentially cause harm to a person's health.

Russian Direct Investment Fund inked a deal with Dr Reddy's Laboratories to conduct a clinical trial and distribution of Sputnik V in India. Under the agreement, Russia's sovereign wealth fund will supply 100 million doses of Russia's COVID-19 vaccine to Indian drug maker. The Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company will be conducting phase II and III clinical trials with around 100 and 1,400 participants respectively. Dr Reddy’s earlier said that the firm is aiming to complete the phase III trials by May.

Russia health ministry has claimed that the coronavirus vaccine offers lasting immunity from the virus. The vaccine is expected to provide immunity from the coronavirus for up to two years, according to health ministry.

"The platform of human adenoviral vectors, which is the core of the Russian vaccine, has been tested in more than 250 clinical studies over decades, and it has been found safe with no potential negative long-term consequences." Dmitriev said. Early results from trials of Russia’s potential coronavirus vaccine show no major negative side effects, a study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet revealed.

"More and more countries are recognizing the human adenoviral vector platform and plan to include these vaccines, as the most studied and known, in their respective national vaccine portfolio," Dmitriev added.

Russia's announcement follows swiftly on from results posted on Monday by vaccine developers Pfizer Inc and BioNTech. The drugmaker said that their shot was also more than 90% effective.

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