On the heels of Pfizer's news, Russia releases Sputnik V vaccine data

Nov. 11, 2020

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has been backing Sputnik V’s development, has said that according to interim trial results, the experimental vaccine is 92 percent effective.

The early analysis was conducted after 20 trial participants developed the virus.

On Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that after its trial reached a case count of 94, a first interim efficacy analysis found the vaccine to have 90 percent efficacy. Pfizer plans to continue its trial until there are 164 COVID-19 cases.

The Sputnik vaccine, being developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, was announced as "the world's first registered coronavirus vaccine" by President Vladimir Putin in mid-August. Russia approved the vaccine after trying it on several dozen subjects in a non-blinded study ahead of phase 3 trials, which drew skepticism from health experts around the globe.

While the Sputnik V vaccine does have advantages — the freeze dried formulation allows the vaccine to be transported without a cold chain and the tolerability is similar to other adenovirus vectored vaccines — U.S. health experts caution that there isn't enough data to determine safety and efficacy.

But Russia is pushing forward, with officials estimating that the country can produce somewhere between 2-10 million doses by the end of the year, and begin a large-scale vaccination campaign by late November.