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Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective at protecting people from COVID-19 based on interim trial results, the nation’s sovereign wealth fund said on Wednesday, as Moscow rushes to maintain pace with Western drugmakers in the race to get a shot.
The first results are only the next to be released from a late-stage human trial in the world race to produce a vaccine that could halt a pandemic which has killed over 1.2 million people and ravaged the entire world market.
Russia enrolled Sputnik V for public use in August, the first country to do so, although the approval came before the onset of the large scale trial in September.
The interim results are based on data in the first 16,000 trial participants to receive the two shots of the two-dose vaccine, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), that was backing the vaccine and advertising it internationally, said.
The so-called Phase III trial of the shooter developed by the Gamaleya Institute is happening in 29 clinics across Moscow and will entail 40,000 volunteers in total, with a quarter receiving a placebo shot.
The chances of contracting COVID-19 were 92% lower amongst people vaccinated with Sputnik V than those who received the placebo, the RDIF explained.
That is well over the 50% efficacy threshold for COVID-19 vaccines set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“We are showing, depending on the information, that we have a very effective vaccine,” said RDIF mind Kirill Dmitriev, adding that it was the sort of information that the vaccine’s developers would speak about a single day with their grandchildren.
Russia’s announcement follows quickly on from results posted on Monday by vaccine developers Pfizer Inc and also BioNTech, who stated their shot was more than 90 percent successful.
The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine uses messenger RNA (mRNA) technologies and is designed to trigger an immune response without using pathogens, for example real virus particles.
The Sputnik V vaccine is designed to trigger a response from two shots administered 21 days apart each based on various viral vectors that normally cause the common cold: human adenoviruses Ad5 and Ad26.