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From efficacy to cost, all you need to know about Russia's Sputnik V

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New Delhi, Apr 13: Russia's Covid vaccine Sputnik V, 'world's first' Covid-19 vaccine has been recommended for emergency use in India, amid a raging second wave of infections.

With the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) nod, Russia's Sputnik V became the third Covid-19 vaccine to be available in India after Covishield and Covaxin.

Representational Image

What does Sputnik V means?

Russia's COVID-19 vaccine was named after Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial Earth satellite, launched by the erstwhile Soviet Union on October 4, 1957. In a first, October 1957 saw the Soviet Union perform the world's first satellite launch, placing Sputnik 1 into a low Earth orbit. Thus, began the space age.The "V" in the name is the letter V and stands for "vaccine", and is not the Roman numeral for five.

Who developed the Sputnik V vaccine?

Sputnik V has been jointly developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology and RDIF. In India, the vaccine is being marketed by Dr Reddy's Laboratories, based in Hyderabad. The RDIF partnered with Dr Reddy's to conduct clinical trials in the country, in September 2020. Reddy's sought the government's approval for the vaccine to be used in India.

How much does Sputnik V?

The cost of one dose of the vaccine for international markets is less than $10 (Sputnik V is a two- dose vaccine). However, India is yet to negotiate on the ppricing.

How does Sputnik V work?

The Gam-COVID-Vac, called Sputnik V, is a two-part vaccine that includes two adenovirus vectors - recombinant human adenovirus type 26 (rAd26-S) and recombinant human adenovirus type 5 (rAd5-S).

These vectors have been modified to express the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which the virus uses to enter human cells.

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The adenoviruses are also weakened so that they cannot replicate in human cells and cannot cause disease.

In the trial, participants were given one dose of rAd26-S, followed by a booster dose of rAd5-S 21 days later.

The researchers explained that using a different adenovirus vector for the booster vaccination may help create a more powerful immune response, compared with using the same vector twice, as it minimises the risk of the immune system developing resistance to the initial vector.

Sputnik V dosage

Sputnik V is a two dose vaccine. The vaccine is being administered separately in a first and second dose, 21 days apart. The peak immunity develops somewhere between day 28 to day 42.

Sputnik V is said to be transportation easy, needs a storage temperature of 2-8 degree C. That means, it can be stored in conventional refrigerators and does not require an additional cold-chain infrastructure.

Sputnik V efficacy

Reportedly, Sputnik V has a 91.6 per cent efficacy against coronavirus, which is among the top performing vaccines, along with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna jabs that also reported more than 90% efficacy. This is significant as both Covishield and Covaxin showed an efficacy of around 81 per cent in the trials.

"Sputnik V is one of the three vaccines in the world with efficacy of over 90%. The vaccine's efficacy is confirmed at 91.6% based on the analysis of data on 19,866 volunteers, who received both the first and second doses of the Sputnik V vaccine or placebo at the final control point of 78 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the information available on the vaccine's official website.

Sputnik V side-effects

There are no concerns that the Sputnik V vaccine could potentially cause harm to a person's health. The researchers have reported rare serious adverse events. The number of cases requiring hospital admission were also negligible.

So far, four deaths were reported in the trial, none of which were said to be related to the vaccine.

Mild, including flu-like symptoms, pain at injection site and weakness or low energy, were most reported adverse effects.

Sputnik V has a number of key advantages, including that there are no strong allergies caused by Sputnik V.

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