The race toward manufacturing a proven coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is nearing its end. Shortly after Pfizer and BioNTech revealed that their candidate vaccine showed high effectiveness, Russia uncovered encouraging data about its Sputnik V.
Gam-COVID-Vac, trade-name Sputnik V, was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, and registered on August 11th by the Russian Health Ministry.
Early results from trials of the Russian-developed vaccine, made public recently, suggest that it could be 92% effective in protecting against COVID-19.
While the news was deemed encouraging by some scientists, others warned that the data was not yet sufficient to make the claim and that it may have been announced too early.
This is because the data was only based on 20 cases out of the 16,000 volunteers who were given the vaccine or a dummy injection during the trials.
In comparison, the results of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which Pfizer said could prevent 90% of people from getting the virus, were based on a study involving 43,500 people.
Sputnik V is currently in phase III of clinical trials in several countries. During this phase, scientists conduct experiments on the vaccine to verify its therapeutic action and determine the risk/benefit ratio.
The vaccine is being tested in Belarus, India, Venezuela, and the UAE.
As of yet, Russian researchers are saying that there were no unexpected adverse events and that no safety issues with the vaccine have been recorded.
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