Russia’s pioneering Sputnik V Covid-19 jab offers “long-lasting” protection against the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the organization that bankrolled the vaccine has claimed, citing a Moscow laboratory study.
A preliminary investigation by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Center, the research institute behind Sputnik V, found that the vaccine demonstrated “high virus neutralizing activity” against the strain. The announcement was made by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which funded the development of the formula.
“Sputnik V is expected to provide long-lasting protection against severe disease by Omicron,” RDIF said, citing the study. It also recommended Sputnik Light, a single-dose version of Sputnik V, as a booster shot six months after the full two-dose course to strengthen the efficacy of vaccines against Omicron.
The efficacy of Sputnik V in combination with the Sputnik Light booster shot is expected to be more than 80%, according to the RDIF.
The fund expressed its opinion that Sputnik V is believed to be more effective against Omicron than alternative vaccines from US Pharma giants Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, citing data from two studies on the Western jabs published this month.
The agency added that the safety and efficacy of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light was demonstrated in more than 30 studies and reports of relevant data from in over ten countries.
Omicron was first reported in South Africa last month and classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a variant of concern. It warned that due to a high number of mutations the strain could potentially dodge the human immune system more easily than previously known strains.