Interim data from Phase 3 clinical trials show that Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is capable of a 91.6% efficacy against COVID-19
The Lancet, where the results are published, commented that the vaccine has been “criticised for unseemly haste, corner cutting and an absence of tranparancy,” but conceding that the gamble worked as “the outcome reported here is clear.”
It appears that Sputnik V is 91.6% effective against COVID-19.
What did Phase Three reveal about Sputnik V?
This success for President Putin comes at a time of significant tumultuousness against his regime, as Russian courts sentence opposition leader Alexei Navalny to two years in prison. Navalny initially left Russia and was poisoned by a spy, but survived the attack and has returned to his home country. This return fuelled ongoing protests.
The clinical trial includes over 20,000 people, with 75% assigned to receive the vaccine and the rest to receive a placebo drug. Unfortunately, almost all participants were white, which will be a key consideration for the use of Sputnik V in other countries.
The participants were 60% male, and a quarter of them had comorbidities like diabetes or heart issues. When it comes to older populations, Sputnik V appears to work well on those older than 60. This is a key regulatory challenge that AstraZeneca is now facing in Belgium, who have drastically banned the use of their vaccine in those aged above 55.
Three people died during Phase Three trials, but their deaths were explained to be linked to “extensive comorbidities” and therefore “unrelated to the vaccine.”
This will be good news for Mexico, who are waiting to import 7.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in February and April, with more available for them in May. India are in line to buy 100 million doses and to manufacture over 100 million doses in-country for the Russian drugmaker.
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