WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Preliminary test results have shown that Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine is 92 percent effective, the country announced on Wednesday.
- Russia’s announcement notably came two days after Pfizer’s own announcement for its vaccine, which was reported to be more than 90 percent effective.
- The Russian trial had a limited scope, however, since it only had 20 participants compared to Pfizer’s trial size of 94.
Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine was shown to be 92 percent effective, the country announced on Wednesday.
While these figures may be encouraging, these results are still from the interim trial stage. Reuters added that the data was also limited in that it involved only a small number of participants who contracted the viral disease.
During the trial, 20 volunteers who carried the virus received either the Sputnik V vaccine or a placebo. This trial size is notably smaller than the 94 participants involved in the vaccine trials by German manufacturing firm BioNTech and drugmaker Pfizer.
Pfizer had recently announced that its vaccine was more than 90 percent effective. At the time, the company expressed its hopes to provide the required amount of safety data to be allowed emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the third week of November.
Bodo Plachter, the deputy director of the Institute of Virology at Germany’s Mainz University, spoke to Reuters about the timing of Russia’s announcement, which came two days after Pfizer’s own announcement for its vaccine.
“I assume there was political pressure after the press release from Pfizer and BioNTech earlier in the week to now draw level with their own data. What is missing for now is an analysis of statistical significance,” Plachter remarked.
The trial for Sputnik V is set to continue for six months, said the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which supports the vaccine development.
On Monday, BioNTech and Pfizer announced that they plan to submit the full data for their phase 3 trials for peer review. Both companies gave a projection of about 50 million doses produced globally before the year ends and about 1.3 billion doses by next year.
BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin gave an optimistic statement on Monday: “The first interim analysis of our global Phase 3 study provides evidence that a vaccine may effectively prevent COVID-19. This is a victory for innovation, science, and a global collaborative effort.”
Source: The Hill