Sputnik V — named after the Soviet-era satellite — was approved in Russia months before results from its final-stage clinical trials were published, leading to scepticism from experts.
Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6 percent effective against symptomatic Covid-19, according to results published Tuesday that independent experts said allayed transparency concerns over the jab, which Moscow is already rolling out.
But the new analysis of data from 20,000 Phase 3 trial participants, published in The Lancet medical journal, suggests that the two-dose vaccination offers more than 90 percent efficacy against symptomatic Covid-19.
“The development of the Sputnik V vaccine has been criticised for unseemly haste, corner-cutting, and an absence of transparency,” said a joint independent commentary by Ian Jones of the University of Reading and Polly Roy of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
“But the outcome reported here is clear and the scientific principle of vaccination is demonstrated, which means another vaccine can now join the fight to reduce the incidence of Covid-19.”
The results suggest Sputnik V is among the top-performing vaccines, along with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna jabs that also reported more than 90 percent efficacy.
Pre-empting the results of the phase 3 trials, Russia has already launched a mass inoculation campaign for citizens 18 and older.