Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is 95% effective, its developers said Tuesday as Russian Federation seeks a leading role in the high-stakes global race for a safe, effective vaccine that can end to the deadly pandemic.
The second interim analysis of the Sputnik V vaccine efficacy was carried out on the basis of 39 confirmed cases identified in the placebo group (31 cases) and in the vaccine group (8 cases).
That's well above the 50% effectiveness threshold for COVID-19 vaccines set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have shown better efficacy at 95 percent, while AstraZeneca-University of Oxford vaccine had shown 70.4 percent efficacy. Dr Reddy's will soon start its phase 2 and 3 clinical trial of the vaccine with 1,500 participants.
It will be free of charge for Russian citizens and will cost less than $10 per dose for global recipients, said the RDIF, the sovereign wealth fund bankrolling and marketing the two-dose adenoviral vaccine.
Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia's RDIF sovereign wealth fund, said Moscow and its foreign partners had capacity to make more than a billion doses starting from next year, enough to vaccinate over 500 million people.
"The uniqueness of the Russian vaccine lies in the use of two different human adenoviral vectors which allows for a stronger and longer-term immune response as compared to the vaccines using one and the same vector for two doses", Dmitriev added. Some of those vaccinated experienced short-term "minor" adverse events including flu-like symptoms like fever, weakness, fatigue and headache.
LIFE IN A PANDEMIC
Alexander Gintsburg, the Gamaleya Center's director, said the interim results showed that the volunteers' "bodies have partially reacted to both doses".
He said the centre expects the efficacy rate to be "even higher" three weeks after the second dose.
"We plan to conduct the third interim data analysis after 78 confirmed coronavirus cases among volunteers and we have every reason to believe that the results will exceed our initial expectations".
It said it was basing its assessment on mRNA vaccines where pricing had already been announced and interim phase three clinical trials were underway. "Final data analysis will be available by the end of Phase III clinical trials", RDIF said.
The worldwide market price for Sputnik V unveiled on Tuesday is cheaper than some other Western rivals such as a vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech, which costs 15.5 euros per shot, but more expensive that a vaccine produced by AstraZeneca which will be sold in Europe for around 2.5 euros per shot.
Putin last week said that Russia had manufacturing agreements in place with China and India and encouraged Brazil and South Africa to also mass produce Russian-made vaccines.