10:16 GMT27 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian drug, which became the first coronavirus vaccine in the world, previously showed efficacy of over 95% during recent trials.

    Alexander Gintsburg, the head of Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute, which developed the Sputnik V vaccine, has discussed the possibility of disclosing data on volunteers who received placebos with the Health Ministry.

    "The third phase [of post-registration trials] involving 40,000 [volunteers] is ongoing simultaneously with sweeping voluntary vaccination in Moscow, so there is absolutely no point in injecting placebo. We have not yet got the go-ahead for introducing this amendment. We will do it once we have the green light", he noted.

    The microbiologist also commented on whether there are people who have natural resistance to the coronavirus.

    "This is the first time I hear about natural resistance to the coronavirus. Naturally, it can be in those people who have a high level of all interferons, including alpha interferons in the first place. If a person, due to some natural hereditary variations, has interferon produced in high quantities, they will have resistance [to the virus]," Gintsburg said.
    Russian coronavirus vaccine Gam-COVID-Vac, trade-named Sputnik V
    © Sputnik / Georgy Zimarev
    Russian coronavirus vaccine Gam-COVID-Vac, trade-named Sputnik V

    Such people, he went on, can be deemed resistant, not only to COVID-19, but to all ribonucleic acid viruses. However, there is no guarantee that interferon will be stably produced at a sufficiently high level.

    "The only stable protection is the protection that comes from vaccination. As for interferons, you can have them more today and fewer tomorrow," the research institute’s head added.

    As for trials of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine on children and pregnant women, the Gamaleya institute has not received such authorisation yet, according to the director.

    Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Vaccines, Vaccine, Sputnik V, Russia, coronavirus, COVID-19
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