Just two days after Russia stunned the world by announcing it had registered the ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine against Covid-19, its developer has revealed that a single dose should protect recipients for a considerable length of time.
Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya National Research Center, says the vaccine’s protective properties should be intact for at least two years after its administration. “[Regarding the] effective period of the vaccine, its protective properties will last for not just the short term, [such as] half a year to one year, but for at least two years,” he told the 60 Minutes show on the Russia-1 federal TV channel.
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Russia’s Healthcare Ministry earlier said that previous use of vector vaccines — the class the Gamaleya Center’s product belongs to — shows that immunity is reserved for up to twenty-four months.
On Tuesday, Russia became the first country in the world to register the vaccine against the coronavirus. According to Gintsburg, the Gamaleya Center developed it in five months.
Something lost in most coverage of Sputnik V is that mass public immunisation is actually not scheduled until January. At first, the formula is only being offered to the especially vulnerable, such as front-line medical workers and teachers. What’s more, the choice of whether to participate is voluntary. Some reporting and comments, in the West, have made it sound like authorities are planning to vaccinate the entire country with an unproven formula. In reality, while Russia is the first country to register a vaccine, there’s still over four months of trials to go before it is offered to the wider public.
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