COVID-19 immunity at 1st shot developed by Sputnik V: Russian Researcher

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Russia’s coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V increased immunity among some of the recipients after the first shot against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, says Alexander Gintsburg, the head of Moscow’s state-run Gamaleya research institute.

Sputnik V is an adenovirus-based vector vaccine that is given in two doses. On August 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared it as the world’s first registered coronavirus vaccine.

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Gintsburg opined that the ability to build immunity against coronavirus varies on individual reactions to both the vaccination and the infection. In some individuals, protection of antibodies is developed after the first shot itself and they require the second shot only to extend that protection. They will likely be protected two weeks after the first vaccination.

He noted that the volunteers have not become infected by the virus between the two shots, but he did not eliminate the risk and added that even if an infection occurs in between the two shots it will be a weak one.

The microbiologist, who himself had taken the vaccination previously, said that booster shots for Sputnik V shall be needed every two years. But the vaccine recipients do not need to self-isolate them or limit their contact, Gintsburg added.

Even though the large-scale trials have only started recently in Moscow, small batches of vaccines are being distributed across regions in Russia.

At present, the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine is in the post-registration trials and about 42,000 volunteers are included in it. According to reports, the country has initiated vaccination trails on the elderly and other vulnerable groups as part of its late-stage tests.

Meanwhile, it was reported the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd have agreed to associate on clinical trials and distribution of the Sputnik V vaccine in India.

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