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Sputnik V & Sputnik Light Booster Provide Full Protection Against Omicron, Preliminary Study Shows

© REUTERS / DADO RUVICA vial labelled "Sputnik V coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine" is seen in this illustration picture taken on 2 May 2021.
A vial labelled Sputnik V coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is seen in this illustration picture taken on 2 May 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.12.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia's coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V provides a high level of protection against severe disease and hospitalisation in the face of the Omicron strain, as per preliminary study by the Gamaleya Centre, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Friday.
Vaccination with Sputnik V and a Sputnik Light booster shot six months later offer total protection against the Omicron strain, Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, stated on Friday, as he announced prelimnary results of a study on the efficacy of the vaccines against the new coronavirus variant.
"The Gamaleya Centre’s recent preliminary laboratory study shows that Sputnik V demonstrates high virus-neutralizing activity (VNA) against the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant and is expected to provide a strong defence against severe disease and hospitalization," the RDIF said in a statement.
According to the RDIF, which is marketing the Russian jabs overseas, Sputnik V "has demonstrated 3-7x less of a reduction in virus-neutralizing activity against Omicron as compared to data from other vaccine producers."
Hence, heterologous boosting by Sputnik Light could be a solution to the waning efficacy of mRNA vaccines, especially in light of a combined Delta and Omicron threat, the RDIF said.
The study comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the new variant is spreading faster than any previous strain.

"Seventy-seven countries have now reported cases of Omicron. And the reality is that Omicron is probably in most countries, even if it hasn't been detected yet," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said earlier this week.

The WHO chief then cautioned against dismissing Omicron, which is more contagious than other strains, as a mild variant.
According to a preliminary lab data released by Pfizer and BioNTech, Omicron significantly reduces the protection against the virus provided by their two-dose vaccine. The University of Oxford scientists have also established that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are less effective against the new strain. However, the researchers remain optimistic that a booster shot would improve immunity against the COVID-19 mutant.
The world’s first registered vaccine against COVID-19, Sputnik V, has already been authorised in 71 countries with a total population of more than 4 billion people. Sputnik Light has been registered in more than 20 countries as a separate vaccine as well as a booster shot that can be used after other vaccines (for example, in Argentina, the UAE, Bahrain, Philippines, and San Marino).
Both vaccines were created on the basis of a human adenoviral vector platform which has been widely used in immunology for the past three decades.
In this Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 file photo, a vial with Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in a medical room rests on a table prior to a vaccination in Moscow. The South African drug regulator has rejected the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, citing some safety concerns the manufacturer wasn't able to answer. In a statement on Tuesday, the country's regulator, also known as SAHPRA, said the request for Sputnik V to be authorized could “not be approved at this time,” referring to past failed HIV vaccines that used a similar technology. - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.11.2021
Omicron COVID Strain
RDIF: New Sputnik V Version Adapted to Omicron Variant in Development
The safety and efficacy of both Sputnik V and Sputnik Light were repeatedly demonstrated in over 30 studies conducted in more than 10 countries. For example, in Argentina, the efficacy of Sputnik Light was proven between 78.6-83.7 percent among the elderly (the results of over 40,000 people aged 60-79 years analysed).
When the efficacy of Sputnik Light was studied at the Gamaleya Centre in Moscow, the data collected showed that just one shot of this vaccine had 70 percent efficacy against the Delta strain of the COVID-19 infection during the first three months after vaccination.
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