Russia says Sputnik V virus vaccine 95% effective
(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 10, 2020 a nurse prepares to inoculate volunteer Ilya Dubrovin, 36, with Russia's new coronavirus vaccine in a post-registration trials at a clinic in Moscow. Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is 95 percent effective according to a second interim analysis of clinical trial data, its developers said on November 24, 2020. The vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya research institute in Moscow in coordination with the Russian defence ministry.
AFP/Natalia KOLESNIKOVA

Russia says Sputnik V virus vaccine 95% effective

(Agence France-Presse) - November 24, 2020 - 8:25pm

MOSCOW, Russia — Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is 95% effective according to a second interim analysis of clinical trial data, its developers said on Tuesday.

The two-dose vaccine will be available on international markets for less than $10 (8.40 euros) per dose, they said, and will be free for Russian citizens.

It can be stored at between two and eight degrees Celsius (between 35.6 and 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit), they said, instead of the temperatures below freezing required for some other vaccines.

The calculations of its effectiveness were based on preliminary data obtained 42 days after the first dose, Russia's health ministry, the state-run Gamaleya research centre and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said in a statement. 

The statement said that the vaccine had shown 91.4% effectiveness 28 days after the first dose, a figure based on 39 cases. 

Forty-two days later, after a second dose, data showed "an efficacy of the vaccine above 95%."

It did not note the number of coronavirus cases used to make the final calculation, however.

"The second analysis was conducted a week after volunteers got the second dose, meaning that their bodies have partially reacted to both doses," Gamaleya's director Alexander Gintsburg said in the statement.

He said the centre expects the efficacy rate to be "even higher" three weeks after the second dose. 

The statement said that 22,000 volunteers had been vaccinated with the first dose and more than 19,000 with both doses.

Overseas trials of the vaccine are also taking place in the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Belarus and other countries.

Russia in August became the first country to register a coronavirus vaccine but did so ahead of the large-scale clinical trials that are still underway.

Last month, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia had registered a second coronavirus vaccine, EpiVacCorona, as a global race heats up in producing an effective vaccine to combat the pandemic, which has now claimed the lives of nearly 1.4 million people.

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.

Pharma giants Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their virus vaccine is 95% effective, while US company Moderna said last week early results showed its candidate was 94.5% effective.

COVID-19 VACCINES NOVEL CORONAVIRUS RUSSIA
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 28, 2021 - 6:25pm

Pharma giants Sanofi and GSK said on July 29, 2020, that they have agreed to supply Britain with up to 60 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. The agreement covers a vaccine candidate developed by France's Sanofi in partnership with the UK's GSK and is subject to a "final contract."

This thread collects some of the major developments in the search for a vaccine to ease the new coronavirus pandemic. (Main photo by AFP/Joel Saget)

January 28, 2021 - 6:25pm

The vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech appears to retain its effectiveness against coronavirus mutations in worrying new variants that have emerged recently in Britain and South Africa, the firms say.

Several new variants -- each with a cluster of genetic mutations -- have sparked fears over an increase in infectiousness as well as suggestions that the virus could begin to elude immune response, whether from prior infection or a vaccine. — AFP

January 28, 2021 - 4:11pm

Pfizer and BioNTech, makers of a COVID-19 vaccine, say on Thursday that their product is effective against coronavirus variants that have emerged in Britain and South Africa.

In a statement, the two companies say the "small differences" detected in tests comparing the original virus and the recent versions "are unlikely to lead to a significant reduction in the effectiveness of the vaccine". —  AFP

January 27, 2021 - 7:21pm

Pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca has pulled out of a meeting with EU representatives meant to take place Wednesday to get to the bottom of delays of its COVID-19 vaccine, an EU official tells AFP.

The sudden cancellation by the Anglo-Swedish firm marked a dramatic new turn in escalating tensions between it and the European Commission, which is demanding AstraZeneca fulfil its contract for the vaccine doses. —  AFP

January 27, 2021 - 9:55am

AstraZeneca's CEO insists that the company was not selling vaccines ordered by the European Union to other countries at a profit, after delayed orders sparked fury from EU leaders.

The British-Swedish drugs firm admitted last week that it would not meet its contractual delivery commitments to the EU because of "reduced yields" in its European supply chain.

That prompted European Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides to announce that the EU plans to start tracking vaccine shipments exported to non-member countries -- a sign of growing distrust. — AFP

January 26, 2021 - 8:03pm

World Health Organization experts on Tuesday cautiously backed delaying second injections of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine in some situations, and insisted international travellers should not be prioritised for COVID-19 jabs.

The WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE) said it was best to adhere to the tested interval of 28 days between doses of the Moderna vaccine, but that in "exceptional circumstances" the doses could be spaced as far as 42 days apart. —  AFP

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