In a study of vaccine phases 1 and 2, dubbed Sputnik V, all 76 study participants developed antibodies to the virus that causes covid-19, according to a report in The Lancet on Friday.
The level of antibody response, according to the study, was similar to the immune response that people received naturally after recovering from Covid-19, according to the study.
Researchers also looked at the responses of T cells, another component of the immune system.
“[Outcomes from] “The trial also suggested that the vaccine also produces a T cell response within 28 days,” the researchers wrote.
Larger tests are required
Scientists not involved in the study said that while the results are a positive sign, only large, stage 3 tests can confirm whether the vaccine actually prevents the disease from Covid-19.
“The data on the Russian vaccine study in The Lancet is encouraging,” said Brendan Waren, professor of microbial pathogenesis at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
In the study, half of the participants developed fever and 42% developed headaches. In addition, about 28% experienced weakness and 24% had joint pain.
The article did not say how long the side effects lasted, but said “most of the adverse events were mild.”
The vaccine was registered in August, before it underwent massive trials. Researchers from Russia’s Gamalea National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology were allowed to conduct the Phase 3 trial on August 26, which is expected to have 40,000 volunteers, according to a press report in The Lancet.
According to Kiral Dimitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which finances Russian vaccination research, researchers are already distributing the vaccine to high-risk groups.
Gamalea is using adenovirus in their Covid-19 vaccines; The same approach is used in vaccines developed by Oxford and the University of AstraZeneca. The adenovirus delivers the genetic material for the spike protein that sits on top of the virus that causes covid-19, and the genetic material is designed to produce an immune response to the virus.
Adenoviruses can cause a variety of symptoms, including the common cold. Researchers manipulate the virus so that it does not replicate and cause disease.
The Gamlea vaccine is given in two doses, and each dose uses a different adenovirus vector.
“There are theoretical benefits to using two different viruses,” said Dr. John H. Snyder, a vaccine expert at the University of Pennsylvania. Said Paul Fitte.
Naor Bar-Zive, deputy director of Johns Hopkins University’s International Vaccine Center Access Center, said in an attached comment that the study was “encouraging but small,” according to The Lancet. Bar-Ziv was not involved in the Russian study, but Pierre reviewed it.
RTIF CEO Dimitriev said the trial results confirmed the “high safety and effectiveness” of the vaccine, adding in a statement on Friday that the results “are a strong response from skeptics who unfairly criticize the Russian vaccine.”
Mass trials begin next week
Russia has previously said it plans to begin mass vaccination of civilians in October, and the country’s health ministry has said the country’s frontline medical staff and teachers will be vaccinated first.
City Mayor Sergei Sobiani said Friday that post-registration trials for the vaccine will begin next week in Moscow.
Speaking in a video conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sobyan said more than 1,000 people had signed up to take part in the experiments.
Sobiani also announced that he had been vaccinated for the first of two shots.
The mayor said the poll suggests that about half of Russian citizens are skeptical about the vaccine.
“According to the poll, about half have doubts as to whether they need to be vaccinated against coronavirus, whether they are developed enough. Two months ago, about 90% were suspects,” Sobyanin said.
Without completing the Phase 3 trial, Russia has not proven to the world that Sputnik V works, although Dimitriev previously said that many countries in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia have shown interest in buying the vaccine.
CNN’s Zamira Rahim and Amy Woodyat contributed to this report.
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