MOSCOW, Sep 4 (Reuters)
The Russian “Sputnik-V” vaccine for COVID-19 produced an antibody response in all participants in the early stages of clinical trials, according to results published recently by the medical journal The Lancet, which were hailed by Moscow as accurate response to his detractors.
The results of the two trials, conducted in June-July this year and with 76 participants, showed that 100% of the participants developed antibodies against the new coronavirus and that there were no serious side effects, according to The Lancet.
Russia approved two-prick inoculation for use in the country in August, becoming the first country to do so, before data on immunization were released or a large-scale trial began.
“The two 42-day trials – including 38 healthy adults each – found no serious adverse effects among participants, and confirmed that vaccine candidates elicit an antibody response,” they mentioned.
“Large, long-term trials that include a comparison with a placebo, as well as increased monitoring are needed to establish the long-term safety and efficacy of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19 infection,” he said.
The vaccine is called Sputnik-V in homage to the world’s first satellite, launched by the Soviet Union. Some Western experts have warned against its use until all comprehensive tests have been carried out at the international level and all the necessary paperwork has been completed.
However, in light of results first published in an international peer-reviewed journal, and following the launch of a 40,000-person post-phase trial last week, a senior Russian official said Moscow had responded to critics in the outside.
“With this (publication) we answer all the questions from the West that have been diligently asked during the last three weeks, frankly with the clear aim of tarnishing the Russian vaccine,” said Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Fund for Direct Investment ( RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, which has funded the vaccine.
“All the boxes are checked,” he told Reuters. “Now … we will start asking questions about some of the western vaccines.”
Dmitriev said that at least 3,000 people had already been recruited for the large-scale trial of the Sputnik-V vaccine launched last week, and that initial results were expected in October or November this year.
Commenting on early-stage trial results, lead author Dr. Naor Bar-Zeev, from the Center for Access to International Vaccines at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins University, said that the studies were “encouraging but small.”
Bar-Zeev, who was not involved in the study, said that “the clinical efficacy of any vaccine against COVID-19 has not yet been demonstrated.”