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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