Russia says a trial of the Sputnik vaccine showed a 91.4 percent efficacy rate.
India to produce about 300 millon doses of Sputnik V vaccine in 2021.
#Russia is testing the first samples of its #SputnikV vaccine against #COVID19 that were produced in India – CEO of the @rdif_press Kirill Dmitriev. #Dmitriev:
India will produce about 300 mln doses of the Russian @sputnikvaccine in 2021
Russian authorities have taken a different path on vaccination, promoting the government-funded shot, which is based on genetically modified common cold viruses, before testing was complete.
Moscow approved Sputnik V for emergency use in August, before wide-scale clinical trials to prove its efficacy and safety had even begun.
World Health Organization and independent experts criticized the move as risky, noting that it undermined confidence in the vaccine, which Russia plans to market in more than 70 countries.
The financial company promoting the vaccine, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, released on Monday data from the interim result of its Phase 3 study, based on 22,714 participants receiving either the vaccine or a placebo. A total of 78 people across the two groups contracted Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Kirill Dmitriev, the chief executive of the fund, praised the result as “astonishing” and said it would help Russia apply for registration for Sputnik V in potential export markets. He said the fund intended to apply in Argentina this month, and in other Latin American nations and countries in Asia and Africa in January.
Russia has already shipped about 320,000 doses of the vaccine and inoculated about 200,000 people outside of the clinical trials.
The vaccine this month received a vote of confidence from AstraZeneca, the British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant, when it opened talks with Russian vaccine scientists about combining efforts.
The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed at the University of Oxford, England, showed encouraging but perplexing results: Two doses of the vaccine provided stronger results (90 percent efficacy) when the first dose was only at half strength than when two full-dose shots were injected (a 62 percent efficacy). The joint efforts will explore whether that vaccine can be made more effective if recipients also receive a shot of Sputnik V.
The Russian trial is scheduled to continue until May, but Mr. Dmitriev said that regulators might halt it on ethical grounds as the vaccine had been proved effective. The efficacy rate was similar to what the Russian group had reported earlier but based this time on a larger, more statistically relevant sample. The results were comparable to those of the Pfizer vaccine, which reported a 95 percent efficacy and has already been approved for use in several countries, and of Moderna’s, which reported a 94.1 percent efficacy rate.
— Andrew E. Kramer