Over 90 per cent of those given the Russian-developed Sputnik V vaccine are thought to have developed immunity to coronavirus, matching estimates for an alternative US-developed formula, the Ministry of Health said on Monday.
Oksana Drapkina, of the ministry’s National Medical Research Center for Preventive Medicine, told journalists, “We are monitoring the effectiveness of the Sputnik V vaccine in those who have been vaccinated as part of civilian circulation. According to our observations, [its success rate] is also more than 90 per cent.”
The news comes as US drug manufacturer Pfizer released figures on its own vaccine, named BNT162b2. The company reports that a similar number of those given the jab developed immunity to the virus. The announcement sent global financial markets soaring, while the stock price of video-conferencing firm Zoom dropped, as traders hoped the news heralded a return to pre-pandemic life.
Russian scientists made headlines earlier this year, when President Vladimir Putin announced that the country would become the first in the world to register a vaccine for coronavirus.
While it initially drew criticism from some international commenters for the speed of the decision, at the start of September, respected British medical journal the Lancet published a study prepared by the developers of Sputnik V, showing it to be 100 percent effective in early tests, producing antibodies in all 76 participants of early-stage trials.
Wider-scale trials of the vaccine, in which members of the public are given the vaccine and monitored to see whether they catch the virus, have been ongoing. It is to these studies that Drapkina appears to be referring.
Moscow is due to receive the first shipment of the vaccine for the general public over the next week. On Saturday, NY Pilot reported on the response to this news from Alexander Gintsburg, Head of the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, which developed the formula. He was optimistic about the roll-out, adding that “everything is going according to plan. By the end of November, we can count on having half a million doses. And in December, three times as many.”
Russia reported a record number of Covid-19 cases on Monday, with 21,798 people testing positive for the virus in the preceding 24 hours.
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