Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine Less Effective Against South African Variant – Study - (The Moscow Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine appears significantly less effective in combating the South African variant of the virus, a new study of 12 cases has shown, The Moscow Times reported.

  • US scientists used blood samples from Argentinians who had received Sputnik V to investigate whether the antibodies they had produced would effectively fight various mutations of the virus.

  • The researchers found that the immune response produced against the variant first identified in South Africa was "markedly reduced" compared with the reaction to the initial strains. 

  • Sputnik V was also less effective in combating all variants with the E484K mutation, which is present in the South African and Brazilian variants of the virus.

  • In eight of the 12 cases, the researchers found antibody responses that were "indicative of a failure to neutralize" against the South African variant, pointing to "markedly reduced neutralization titers" in the blood samples.

  • "The Gamaleya Institute’s own studies, based on a much larger sample than the 12 people used in this study, will be published in May in a peer-reviewed journal and demonstrate a higher efficacy of the Russian vaccine versus novel strains, including the South African variant, than that of other vaccines, including Pfizer," said a source close to the Gamaleya Institute, which is developing the vaccine.

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