Russian vaccine shows signs of immune response

Russian vaccine shows signs of immune response
A vaccine created in Russia has shown signs of an immune response, according to a report. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Scientists of Russia have published the first report on their coronavirus vaccine, saying early tests showed signs of an immune response.

Medical journal The Lancet published the report. It said every participant developed antibodies to fight the virus and had no serious side effects.

Russia licensed the vaccine for local use in August. It is the first country to do so and before data had been published.

Experts say the trials were too small to prove safety and effectiveness.

But Russia has hailed the results as an answer to critics. Some Western experts have raised concerns about the speed of Moscow’s work, suggesting that researchers might be cutting corners.

President Vladimir Putin said last month it had passed all the required checks and that one of his own daughters had been given it.

What does the report say about vaccine?

The Lancet paper said two trials of the vaccine, named Sputnik-V, were conducted between June and July. Each involved 38 healthy volunteers who were given a dose of the vaccine and then a booster vaccine three weeks later.

The participants – aged between 18 and 60 – were monitored for 42 days and within three weeks, all of them developed antibodies. Among the most common side effects were joint pain and headaches.

The trials were open label and not randomised, meaning there was no placebo and the volunteers were aware they were receiving the vaccine.

The report said: “Large, long-term trials including a placebo comparison, and further monitoring are needed to establish the long-term safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for preventing Covid-19 infection,”

According to the paper, a third phase of trials will involve 40,000 volunteers from “different age and risk groups.”

The Russian vaccine uses adapted strains of the adenovirus, a virus that usually causes the common cold, to trigger an immune response.

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