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We have finally learned whether Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine is effective

New data has revealed whether Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is effective

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A nurse arranges boxes of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 as health workers are given shots of it at River Plate stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021.

A nurse arranges boxes of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 as health workers are given shots of it at River Plate stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021.

Natacha Pisarenko, Associated Press

The novel coronavirus has to fight off another vaccine, it appears, as Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has been found to be 91.6% effective against symptomatic cases of COVID-19 and 100% effective against severe and moderate cases, according to CNN.

  • The results were published in The Lancet on Tuesday.

What the numbers say

The data comes from phase 3 trial results, which included 19,866 participants. About 75% of the participants (14,964) received two doses of the vaccine and 4,902 received a placebo, per CNN.

  • There were 16 confirmed cases of symptomatic COVID-19 among those who received the vaccine.
  • There were 62 cases of COVID-19 among the placebo group, according to the data.
  • The vaccine also analyzed patients who were over 60 years old, finding that the vaccine was 91.8% effective for those above that age, Politico reports.

Context

Back in August 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country had the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, which I wrote about for the Deseret News. He said he even tested the vaccine on his daughter.

At the time, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner, told CNBC he wouldn’t use the COVID-19 vaccine from Russia since there was no clinical trial data that proved it was successful.

  • “They’ve cleared the equivalent, really, of a phase 1 clinical trial in terms of putting it in 100 to maybe as many as 300 patients so it needs to be evaluated in a large-scale clinical trial.”

Later, in September, a peer-reviewed study in The Lancet found that Russia’s potential coronavirus vaccine had no major side effects, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.