Protection file

Sputnik offers longer protection than Western jabs

The Russian Direct Investment Fund, which supported the development of the vaccine, said the Sputnik vaccine is 80% effective against the coronavirus six to eight months after the second dose.

FILE: A nurse shows the Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a Moscow clinic on December 5, 2020, amid the ongoing coronavirus disease pandemic. Photo: AFP

MOSCOW – Supporters of Sputnik V said on Wednesday that the Russian vaccine offers longer immunity against the coronavirus than Western vaccines using messenger RNA (mRNA) technology.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has supported the development of the vaccine, said the Sputnik vaccine is 80% effective against the coronavirus between six and eight months after the second dose.

The country has recorded more than 9.4 million cases of the coronavirus, the fifth highest number in the world, and more than 267,000 deaths linked to the virus, according to government figures.

“The effectiveness of Sputnik V is significantly higher than that of Pfizer after six to eight months,” Kirill Dmitriev, director of RDIF, told reporters.

No independent study has confirmed this claim.

The fund said its data was based on the number of coronavirus infections in San Marino in November.

More than 70% of the adult population of San Marino, a small republic surrounded by Italy, have been vaccinated with Sputnik.

“The efficacy was calculated based on data obtained from more than 18,600 people fully vaccinated with Sputnik V at least five months before November,” RDIF said.

Sputnik’s team attributed the success of their vaccine to a “longer antibody and T-cell response,” referring to the blood components that are part of the human immune system.

Dmitriev said the long-term effectiveness of vaccines was “the key to solving the pandemic.”

Denis Logunov, deputy director of the state Gamaleya center that developed Sputnik, said the health ministry should register the vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 17.

Independent experts have accused authorities of downplaying the severity of the outbreak.

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday issued another appeal to skeptical Russians to get vaccinated, but remained opposed to mandatory vaccinations.

Despite its repeated appeals, only around 37% of Russians are fully immunized. The country has recorded more than 1,000 COVID deaths per day in recent weeks.