Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective at protecting people from COVID-19 according to interim trial results, the country’s sovereign wealth fund said on [November 11], as Moscow rushes to keep pace with Western drugmakers in the race for a shot.
Russia’s results are only the second from a late-stage human trial, following on swiftly from data released on [November 9] by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech, which said their shot was also more than 90% effective.
The analysis was conducted after 20 participants developed the virus and examined how many had received the vaccine versus a placebo. That is significantly lower than the 94 infections in the trial of the vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
“I assume there was political pressure after the press release from Pfizer and BioNTech earlier in the week to now draw level with their own data,” said Bodo Plachter, deputy director of the Institute of Virology at the Mainz University.
Scientists have raised concerns about the speed at which Moscow has worked, giving the regulatory go-ahead for the shot and launching mass vaccinations before full trials to test its safety and efficacy had been completed.