Russia has approved the acquisition of a first Spotnik Light vaccine for the Covid vaccine, the Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Thursday, a move that could help provide more advanced covid vaccine in high-risk countries.
Developed by Moscow’s Gamaliel Institute, a reduced vaccine, which Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) says is 79.4% effective compared to Covid-19 and costs less than $ 10 dose, is set for export and may increase the number of people with less protection.
One of the most widely used alternatives is a vaccine that can be exported in the event of a major outbreak that needs immediate attention.
Sputnik Light is the first component of the two-dose Sputnik-V vaccine that has already been registered for use in over 60 countries. Sputnik V is a heterologous vaccine regimen, which means it uses two different adenoviruses for the prime (first) and booster (second) vaccine dose. The prime dose is rAd26 and the booster is rAd5.
“The single Sputnik Light vaccine has shown 79.4% performance according to analytical data taken 28 days after the introduction of the vaccine as part of a mass vaccination program in Russia between 5 December 2020 and 15 April 2021,” Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said in a statement.
A Phase III clinical trial involving 7,000 people is still underway in Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Ghana and other countries, the RDIF said. Temporary results are expected by the end of this month.
According to authorities, nearly eight million Russians have so far been fitted with a complete two-dose drug Sputnik V, named after a Soviet-era satellite that created a space race in terms of project value in Moscow.
Russian scientists last month said Sputnik V was 97.6% efficient compared to Covid-19 in a “real-world” test based on data from 3.8 million people.
The slow pace of vaccination in Russia compared to other countries with home-made vaccines has raised questions about its export intentions for some European officials. The European Medicines Agency has not yet approved the gun and Austria on Tuesday said it would only buy Sputnik V after approval by the EMA.
“One-dose vaccine solves the challenge of vaccinating large groups in the short term, which is especially important during the worst time of the spread of HIV, and achieving immediate herd protection,” said RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev.
He also added that the two-dose vaccine Sputnik V will remain the main vaccine in Russia, which has already authorized two other vaccines to be used.