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Sputnik V set to become third COVID-19 vaccine in India. 91.6% efficacy to side-effects — key details

Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine has proven equally effective for all age groups, Gamaleya official said (AFP)Premium
Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine has proven equally effective for all age groups, Gamaleya official said (AFP)

  • Sputnik V uses two different disarmed strains of the adenovirus, a virus that causes the common cold, as vectors to deliver the vaccine dose
  • Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6% effective against symptomatic COVID-19, according to results published in the Lancet

Sputnik V, another vaccine against novel coronavirus got approval from the Subject expert committee (SEC) for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) in India, according to sources, mentioned news agency PTI. Once approved, this will be the third COVID-19 vaccine in the country.

The COVID-19 vaccine was developed by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian defence ministry. COVID-19 vaccine offers lasting immunity from the virus, according to Russia health ministry. Named after named after the Soviet-era satellite, Sputnik V was approved in Russia in August 2020.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) partnered with Dr Reddy's in September 2020 to conduct clinical trials of Sputnik V in India. The pharma major sought the government's approval for the vaccine to be used in India.

How will Sputnik V work?

Sputnik V coronairus vaccine uses two different disarmed strains of the adenovirus, a virus that causes the common cold, as vectors to deliver the vaccine dose. Developers said that using a different adenovirus vector for the booster vaccination minimises the risk of the immune system developing resistance to the initial vector, so it may help create a more powerful response.

Sputnik V dosage:

Explaining the dosage of Sputnik, Deepak Sapra of Dr Reddy's Laboratories said, "It is a two dose vaccine. You take the first dose on day zero and the second one on day 21. The peak immunity develops somewhere between day 28 to day 42."

Side-effects:

Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya National Research Centre, earlier said earlier there are no concerns that the vaccine could potentially cause harm to a person's health. Some people naturally have a fever when immune system of the person being vaccinated receives a powerful boost but this "side-effect" can easily be overcome by taking paracetamol, he added.

How effective is it?

Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6% effective against symptomatic COVID-19, according to results published in The Lancet in February. The results suggest Sputnik V is among the top performing vaccines, along with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna jabs that also reported more than 90% efficacy.

The phase III trial involved giving 14,964 participants in the vaccine group and 4,902 in the placebo group two jabs 21 days apart. Those taking part were tested for COVID-19 at enrolment into the trial, again when they had the second dose and then after that if they reported symptoms. From the second dose, 16 cases of symptomatic COVID-19 were confirmed in the vaccine group and 62 cases were reported in the placebo group, giving an efficacy equivalent to 91.6%, according to the report in the Lancet.

"Now, what we have done in India, in addition to all this, we also conducted trials in India and evaluated the vaccine on the Indian population for both safety as well as for immunogenicity," official of Dr Reddy's said.

COVID-19 vaccine: Effective for age?

Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine has proven equally effective for all age groups, Gintsburg added. "Sputnik V demonstrated the same level of efficacy in all age groups. At first there were doubts that the efficacy in people aged 60 and over would be lower ... but it was absolutely not," Gintsburg told earlier.

Several countries around the world have already registered Sputnik V, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund including Belarus, Venezuela, Bolivia and Algeria.

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