first country to grant approval for a COVID-19 vaccine. ussia has begun releasing its coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, to the general public as developers prepare to conduct large-scale clinical trials while administering the shot to civilians. It is the
Features of the Vaccine
- The Sputnik V is a vaccine developed by the Gamaleya research institute in coordination with the Russian defence ministry.
- It is based on a proven vaccine against adenovirus – the common cold.
- The vaccine is expected to provide immunity from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, for up to two years.
- The vaccine is administered in two doses and consists of two serotypes of human adenovirus, each carrying an S-antigen of the new coronavirus, which enter human cells and produce an immune response.
- It is a so-called viral vector vaccine, meaning it employs another virus to carry the DNA encoding of the needed immune response into cells.
Issues With the Vaccine
- Scientists in Russia and elsewhere have questioned the speed of the development and lack of transparency.
- The Sputnik V – in homage to the world’s first satellite launched by the Soviet Union – has not yet completed its phase-three trial, which involves wide-scale testing with thousands of participants.
- Phase 3 trial, which involves tens of thousands of people and can take months, is the only way to prove if an experimental vaccine is safe and really works. By comparison, vaccines entering final-stage testing in the U.S. require studies of 30,000 people each.
- Experts have warned that vaccines that are not properly tested can cause harm in many ways – from harming health to creating a false sense of security or undermining trust in vaccinations.
Effectiveness of Vaccination
- A small study from China had shown in June that antibody levels in up to 40% of asymptomatic patients of COVID-19 had dropped drastically eight weeks after having been released into the blood.
- It indicated that they may be susceptible to reinfection and even that vaccination may not work as intended.
- However, an Icelandic study showed that around 90% of some 1,800 patients who had recovered from COVID-19 had demonstrable levels of antibodies for over two months after infection.