Russian President Vladimir Putin took a big risk in approving the Sputnik coronavirus jab last summer, even before it passed the final safety test. Fortunately, the results of the tests – available now – were positive. Its success has led Germany and France to initiate discussions with Russia on the introduction of the vaccine in their deployment programs. The Sputnik jab is already administered elsewhere – in Argentina, Hungary and Pakistan.
For the final safety test of the Sputnik jab, 14,964 people received the jab; at the same time, 4,902 people received a placebo.
The results showed that the Sputnik jab was 91.6% effective in preventing Covid infection.
This compares to around 70% for the AstraZeneca jab – over 20% difference.
Both vaccines used adenoviral vectors, but the Sputnik vaccine used two while the AstraZeneca vaccine deployed one.
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The study was well received by scientists, including Dr Penny Ward – visiting professor of pharmaceutical medicine at King’s College London.
“This is a good quality study which confirms the clinical efficacy of the Gamaleya combined viral vector vaccine,” she said.
Communicable disease consultant Dr Peter English said the Sputnik vaccine was “another very effective vaccine”.
However, Dr English commented on Russia’s vaccine strategy, which was implemented before the safety trials were completed.
“Implementing a vaccine in a large population before seeing your Phase III results is extremely risky,” he commented.
“The ethics of administering a product that might make you sick (or make you sicker) is very different when you administer a vaccine to a large number of healthy patients than when you give a drug to a patient. a critically ill patient, who may be willing to take a risk. ”
While this has worked well for Russia, Dr English said the head-first approach “is certainly not recommended.”
Meanwhile, the Pfizer Covid vaccine – administered in the UK – had a 95% effectiveness rate, outperforming both AstraZeneca and Sputnik.