Russia’s double-dose Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6% effective against symptomatic coronavirus, according to interim results of trials published Tuesday in The Lancet. The percentage is similar among participants older than 60 years, with 91.8% efficacy.
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Preliminary results are based on analysis of data from nearly 20,000 participants, of whom three-quarters received the vaccine and a quarter a placebo. In the case of older people, the trial included 2,144 participants over the age of 60: the vaccine was well tolerated and safety data from 1,369 of these older adults revealed that the most common adverse effects were flu symptoms and reaction local.
These coincide with the majority of the adverse effects reported in the other groups, which were also generally mild; the severe ones (those that required hospital admission) were rare in both the placebo (0.4%) and the vaccine (0.2%) groups.
None, the authors say, were considered associated with vaccination; Four deaths were reported in the trial, none of which were considered vaccine-related.
Gam-COVID-Vac or Sputnik V is a two-part vaccine that includes two adenovirus vectors – rAd26-S and rAd5-S – that have been modified to express the S protein of SARS-CoV-2. Adenoviruses are also weakened so that they cannot replicate in human cells and cannot cause disease.
This technique has been used before and its safety has been confirmed in several clinical studies, recalls the journal in a note. In this trial, participants received a dose of rAd26-S, followed by a booster dose of rAd5-S 21 days later.
At 21 days after receiving the first dose (the day of dose 2), 16 cases of symptomatic COVID-19 were confirmed in the vaccine group (0.1%) and 62 cases (1.3%) in the Placebo group, which equates to 91.6% efficacy, summarizes the study.
This efficacy analysis only includes symptomatic cases, so further research is needed to understand the efficacy of the vaccine in asymptomatic patients.
The Russian vaccine has been licensed in addition to Russia in 14 other countries, including Hungary, Algeria, Serbia, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Turkmenistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates and Iran. And the Czech Republic, Mexico and Sri Lanka have been interested in her.