Russia's coronavirus vaccines, Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona, are effective against the UK strain of the coronavirus, Russian research centre Vector confirmed Tuesday.
The centre, which works under the auspices of the Russian public health agency, said that it "confirms the effectiveness of the Russian vaccines against a British strain of the coronavirus."
“The protective effect was demonstrated in neutralisation reactions using sera obtained from individuals vaccinated with the Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona vaccines and containing antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” centre said.
The sera of the vaccine effectively neutralised both the coronavirus and its UK varition, which does not contain the set of mutations characteristic of the British variant, the esearch centre added.
One of the vaccines, EpiVacCorona, was developed by Vector, the other one, Sputnik V, by Gamaleya research centre.
Sputnik V was registered by the Russian Ministry of Health in August 2020. Vaccine was created on the basis of a well-studied and proven platform of human adenoviral vectors.
The use of the Sputnik V vaccine was earlier approved in 27 countries: Russia, Belarus, Argentina, Bolivia, Serbia, Algeria, Palestine, Venezuela, Paraguay, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Hungary, UAE, Iran, Republic of Guinea, Tunisia, Armenia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Republika Srpska (entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Lebanon, Myanmar, Pakistan, Mongolia, Bahrain, Montenegro and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), involved in the vaccine’s distribution and promotion abroad, has said that Sputnik is "one of the world's top three coronavirus vaccines in terms of the number of approvals issued by government regulators".
In December, UK public health officials announced the emergence of a new coronavirus strain that is believed to be up to 70 percent more transmissible. The new strain was first discovered in southeast England in September and subsequently spread rapidly throughout the United Kingdom and continental Europe.