Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine was 91.6% effective in preventing people from developing COVID-19, according to peer-reviewed results from its late-stage clinical trial published in The Lancent international medical journal on Tuesday.
“The development of the Sputnik V vaccine has been criticised for unseemly haste, corner cutting, and an absence of transparency,” Professor Ian Jones of the University of Reading and Professor Polly Roy, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said in a comment shared by The Lancet.
“But the outcome reported here is clear and the scientific principle of vaccination is demonstrated. Another vaccine can now join the fight to reduce the incidence of covid-19”, said the scientists, who were not involved in the study.
The results were based on data from 19,866 volunteers, of whom a quarter received a placebo, the researchers, led by the Gamaleya Institute’s Denis Logunov, said in The Lancet.
There were 2,144 volunteers over 60 in the trial and the shot was shown to be 91.8% effective when tested on this older group, with no serious side-effects reported that could be associated with Sputnik V, The Lancet summary said.
The vaccine was also found to be 100% effective against moderate or severe covid-19, as there were no such cases among the group of 78 participants who were infected and symptomatic at 21 days after the first shot was administered.
“Four deaths of participants occurred, but none was considered associated with vaccination”, The Lancet said.