Sputnik Light 70% effective against Delta variant: RDIF
The Russian-made one-shot Sputnik Light vaccine shows 70% efficacy in preventing Covid-19 caused by the Delta variant of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Wednesday, citing data from the vaccine’s developer.
Gamaleya Institute, which uploaded a pre-print on the medical website medRxiv, said its findings were based on 28,000 participants who received a dose of Sputnik Light, compared with a control group of 5.6 million individuals who were not vaccinated.
“The Sputnik Light vaccine administered alone has demonstrated 70% efficacy against infection from the Delta variant of coronavirus during the first three months after vaccination. The vaccine is 75% effective among subjects under the age of 60. Sputnik Light has demonstrated a superior efficacy compared with some two-shot vaccines, which have shown a major decline in efficacy against the Delta variant to less than 50% five months after injection,” said RDIF in a statement based on a study conducted in Russia.
The data used in the study was collected in July 2021 in Moscow.
“In a certain cohort of Russian people, the efficacy was seen to be as high as 83% also. The vaccine’s one-shot regimen makes it is a strong solution for countries with low vaccination rates. Sputnik Light can also be successfully used to maintain existing herd immunity as a booster shot,” said Denis Logunov, deputy director, Gamaleya Center.
The data comes as Russia battles soaring infections and hesitancy about vaccines at home.
Countries around the world are deploying or considering administering third dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or booster shots to some of their population, although there is no consensus among scientists about how broadly they should be used.
Sputnik Light as a booster for other vaccines will be almost as effective against the Delta variant as Russia’s flagship two-shot Sputnik V vaccine, RDIF added. Sputnik V, in its two-dose regimen, is one of six Covid-19 vaccines that have been granted emergency use approval by the Indian drugs regulator.
RDIF said Sputnik Light would be over 83% effective against infection and over 94% effective against hospitalisation.
Kirill Dmitriev, head of the RDIF, told Reuters he expected Sputnik Light to become the main Russian vaccine against Covid-19. “Eventually, we believe that Sputnik Light could be the main vaccine one year from now when many people will just need to get revaccinated or will have had COVID and won’t need Sputnik V,” said Dmitriev.
Sputnik Light will be produced by RDIF’s global partners in at least 10 countries (India, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Mexico, Argentina, Serbia, Turkey, etc.).
Experts said a one-shot regimen may have benefits for some, but a two-dose vaccine will eventually work better. “One-shot vaccines could possibly be good for people who have been previously infected, as some protection is expected...,” said Dr Gagandeep Kang, vaccinologist from Christian Medical College, Vellore.