Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 92 percent effective at protecting people from COVID-19 according to interim trial results, the country’s sovereign wealth fund said on Wednesday, as Moscow rushes to keep pace with Western drugmakers in the race for a shot.
The initial results are only the second to be published from a late-stage human trial in the global effort to produce vaccines that could halt a pandemic that has killed more than 1.2 million people and ravaged the world economy.
The results are based on data from the first 16,000 trial participants to receive both shots of the two-dose vaccine, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has been backing its development and marketing it globally, said.
“We are showing, based on the data, that we have a very effective vaccine,” said RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev, adding that it was the sort of news that the vaccine’s developers would talk about one day with their grandchildren.
The analysis was conducted after 20 participants in the trial developed COVID-19 and examined how many had received the vaccine versus a placebo.
That is significantly lower than the 94 infections in the trial of a vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech. To confirm the efficacy rate, Pfizer said it would continue its trial until there were 164 COVID-19 cases.
RDIF said the Russian trial would continue for six more months and data from the study will also be published in a leading international medical journal following a peer review.
European stocks and US stock futures extended their gains slightly after Russia’s announcement.
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