Nearly two thirds of Russians are not willing to receive Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, and about the same number believe the new coronavirus was created artificially as a biological weapon, an independent pollster said on March 1.
As the world awaits the production and distribution of hundreds of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines that have been granted emergency use authorization, biopharmaceutical companies and manufacturers are developing the next wave of vaccines and therapeutics to combat the pandemic.
After months of touting its efficacy to the western world, the efficacy of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine was validated in a peer-reviewed study published in The Lancet.
Human trials of a coronavirus vaccine combining Russia’s Sputnik V shot with that developed by Britain’s AstraZeneca and Oxford University are expected to start in early February, the chairman of Russian drugmaker R-Pharm told Reuters.
A vaccine being developed by the Nanovaccine Institute at Iowa State University (ISU) will be able to be administered without needles and in one dose.
AstraZeneca, which is jointly developing a Covid-19 vaccine with the University of Oxford, plans to begin clinical trials testing the company’s vaccine in combination with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine by the end of 2020.
Moscow began distributing the Sputnik V Covid-19 shot via 70 clinics on Dec. 5 to the most exposed groups, marking Russia’s first large-scale vaccination against the disease, the city’s coronavirus task force said.
AstraZeneca said on Monday the company’s Covid-19 vaccine could be as much as 90% effective, giving the world’s fight against the global pandemic a new weapon, cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale-up than rivals.
Russia resumed the vaccination of new volunteers in a clinical trial for the country’s flagship Covid-19 Sputnik V vaccine after a short pause, staff at six of 29 trial clinics said, as Moscow moves to accelerate plans to inoculate the population.
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, as Moscow rushes to keep pace with Western drugmakers in the race for a shot.