Russia says its coronavirus vaccine is 92% efficient because the struggle in opposition to western drug producers intensifies
A health worker injects the "Gam-COVID-Vac", also known as the "Sputnik V", Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) arm during a phase after registration at City Clinic No. 46 in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.
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Russia said on Wednesday that its coronavirus vaccine is 92% effective in preventing people from getting Covid-19, according to preliminary test results.
Russia's State Fund (RDIF) said the first results of its late phase 3 study of the "Sputnik V" vaccine showed that its effectiveness in calculating "based on the 20 confirmed Covid-19" cases was 92% split between vaccinated people and those who received the placebo. "
"There are currently 40,000 volunteers in double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Sputnik V Phase III clinical trials, of which over 20,000 were vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine and more than 16,000 with the first and second doses of the vaccine," it said in a statement posted on the dedicated Sputnik V website.
Russia became the first country to register and approve a coronavirus vaccine in August. The announcement raised concerns among some members of the international scientific community about the speed of approval – the vaccine had not yet begun Phase 3 trials at the time – and the lack of available data to support Russian claims about the efficacy and safety of the Support the vaccine.
Russia released some data from early-stage clinical trials in September and has repeatedly insisted that its vaccine is safe and effective. On Wednesday, RDIF said that "no unexpected adverse events occurred during the trials. Monitoring of participants is ongoing."
Participant monitoring will continue for six months before a full report on the third phase clinical studies is presented, RDIF said. However, it was suggested that the interim research data from the Gamaleya Center team that developed the vaccine will be published in one of the leading international peer-reviewed medical journals "without specifying when it might be.
Wednesday's announcement follows Monday's market-changing news that US pharmaceuticals company Pfizer and German company BioNTech have developed a Covid vaccine that is more than 90% effective.
Pfizer's analysis evaluated 94 confirmed Covid-19 infections among the 43,538 participants in the study. Pfizer and its German biotech partner said the split of the case between those who were vaccinated and those who received a placebo indicated a vaccination effectiveness rate of over 90% seven days after the second dose.
The latest announcement from Russia comes a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the country was developing a third vaccine. The president also said on Tuesday that Moscow was ready to work with all other countries on vaccines, but warned against "politicizing" the process.
Russia itself has been accused of participating in a vaccine race as drug manufacturers around the world try to develop effective protection against the virus, which, according to Johns Hopkins University, has caused over 1.2 million deaths worldwide. Russia has the fifth highest number of confirmed coronavirus infections. Around 1.8 million cases have been reported so far.