The developer of Russia’s flagship vaccine against Covid-19, Sputnik V, has disclosed that it is 92% effective in protecting people from the virus infections.
As the country pushes for a top slot in the fight against the coronavirus after a rival product by Pfizer Inc. reported a similar breakthrough.
This announcement was made by its developers, Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), through a tweet post on Wednesday, November 11, 2020.
The 2 organizations who are backing its development and marketing it globally said the preliminary Phase 3 findings are based on results from 20,000 volunteers who were given the first dose, including more than 16,000 who also received a second injection.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the statement says that the data is based on results 21 days after the initial injection and will be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
The 92% efficacy rate was based on 20 confirmed Covid-19 cases split across vaccinated subjects who got two doses and those who got the placebo.
This is significantly lower than the 94 infections in the trial of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech. Pfizer said it would continue with its trial until there were 164 Covid-19, in order to confirm its efficacy rate
The developers who revealed that no unexpected adverse events have been reported with monitoring continuing, also said the trial is to include a total of 40,000 subjects although not all have yet been vaccinated.
The shots have also been given to health workers, teachers and officials outside the trial, with preliminary observations showing effectiveness over 90%, the Health Ministry said hours after Pfizer’s announcement this week.
RDIF said the Russian trial would continue for 6 more months and data from the trials will also be published in a leading international medical journal following a peer review.
This announcement from Russia is coming 2 days after Nairametrics had reported that Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which is developed in collaboration with BioNTech SE, is at least 90% effective.
According to an interim analysis published this week in what was described as the most encouraging scientific evidence supporting any vaccination to date.
It can be recalled that Russia was the first in the world to register its Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, for public use in August, although the approval came before the start of the large scale trial in September.
Scientists and pharmaceutical companies have raised serious concerns about the speed at which Russia gave regulatory approval for the drug and launching mass vaccination programme before full trials to test its safety and efficacy had been completed.
With the world’s fifth-largest number of Covid-19 cases, Russia is also hoping to capture a share of the global market for a tool to control the pandemic that has killed more than 1.2 million people globally
After it was approved for use, Sputnik V has faced challenges ramping up production as other inoculations globally prepare for widespread roll-out.