If Europe looked at the Russian vaccine with suspicion at first, the situation could now change. According to the first results of an advanced study published Tuesday February 2, Russian scientists assure that the Sputnik V vaccine developed in the country would be effective against Covid-19. These findings were published in the scientific journal The Lancet.
Specifically, the researchers report that the vaccine would be 91.6% effective against symptomatic forms of the new coronavirus. As an additional indicator, these results have also been validated by independent experts. In view of these figures, this vaccine would therefore be in the trio of the best performing antidotes with the device proposed by Moderna and that of Pfizer / BioNTech.
One trial only on 20,000 patients
This research was carried out on approximately 20,000 people over the age of 18 and found that the vaccine would prevent participants from becoming seriously ill. This trial was carried out on patients from 25 Moscow hospitals between September and November. Three-quarters received two doses of the Russian vaccine 21 days apart and the rest received placebo injections.
Scientists, unrelated to the research, acknowledged that the speed at which the Russian vaccine was manufactured and deployed has been criticized for “improper precipitation, corner cuts and lack of transparency“. However, in an accompanying commentary, British scientists Ian Jones and Polly Roly considered that”the result reported here is clear“. According to them, “another vaccine can now join the fight for reduce the incidence of COVID-19The most frequently reported side effects were flu-like symptoms, pain at the injection site and fatigue. Serious side effects were rare in both groups. Four deaths were reported, although no was considered to result from the vaccine.
The Sputnik V vaccine was approved by the Russian government on August 11. A news announced by President Vladimir Putin in person on national television. At the time, the vaccine had only been tested on several dozen people. “It’s a big day in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic“said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund which financed the development of the vaccine.
Russian vaccine uses as a vector two adenoviruses transformed to add part of the genes responsible for Covid-19. It’s a technology similar to the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. But, unlike AstraZeneca’s two-dose vaccine, the Russians used a slightly different adenovirus for the second booster vaccine. A process which, according to Alexander Edwards, associate professor of biomedical technology at the British University of Reading, may explain these good results: “This is intended to stimulate higher immune responses to the target peak using two slightly different vials.According to him, with two identical injections, it is possible that the immune system is not stimulated as much by the second injection.
To find out more about the coronavirus, the editorial staff invites you to discover its more complete and regularly updated articles:
- an article on Covid-19 disease and the evolution of the epidemic
- an article on the different screening tests
- an article on vaccines under development.