Russian scientists say Sputnik V performs well against COVID mutations
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian study testing the effectiveness of revaccination with the Sputnik V shot to protect against new mutations in the coronavirus delivers strong results, according to researchers on Saturday.
Last month, President Vladimir Putin ordered a review of vaccines made in Russia for effectiveness against new variants spreading in different parts of the world by March 15.
"(A) A recent study by the Gamaleya Center in Russia showed that re-vaccination with the Sputnik V vaccine was very effective against new coronavirus mutations, including the UK and South African coronavirus strains," said Denis Logunov, deputy Director of the center who developed the Sputnik V-shot.
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The results of the study are expected to be released soon, but that was the first indication of how the tests are going. No further details were available yet.
So-called viral vector recordings - like Sputnik V and a recording developed by AstraZeneca - use harmless modified viruses as vehicles or vectors to carry genetic information that will help the body build immunity to future infections.
The same Sputnik V shot based on the same adenovirus vectors was used for re-vaccination. The study showed it had no effect on effectiveness, Logunov said in a statement to Reuters.
Some scientists have increased the possible risk that the body will also develop immunity to the vector itself, recognize it as an invader, and attempt to destroy it.
However, the Sputnik V developers disagreed that this would pose long-term problems.
"We believe that vector-based vaccines are actually better than vaccines based on other platforms for future revaccination," said Logunov.
He said the researchers found that antibodies specific to the vectors used by the shot - which could provoke an anti-vector response and undermine the work of the shot itself - were wearing off "as early as 56 days after vaccination."
This conclusion was based on a trial of an Ebola vaccine previously developed by the Gamaleya Institute using the same approach as for the Sputnik V-shot.
Vector immunity is not a new issue, but it has been re-examined as companies like Johnson & Johnson believe that regular COVID-19 vaccinations, like annual influenza vaccinations, may be needed to combat new variants of the coronavirus.
(Reporting and writing by Polina Ivanova; editing by Frances Kerry)
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