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Mexico approves Russian COVID-19 vaccine

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Mexico approves Russian COVID-19 vaccine

An interim analysis of data from the Phase III trial of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine from Russia (Gam-COVID-Vac) suggests that a two-dose regimen of the adenovirus-based vaccine offers 91.6 percent efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19.

Aside from being used in Russia, Sputnik V was administered in countries like Argentina, Venezuela, Hungary, UAE, Iran and in Palestinian territories.

The fund says Sputnik V has been approved for emergency use in more than 12 other countries.

The vaccine was well-received among the elderly and displayed effectiveness of 91.8 percent, based on a sample of 2,144 participants older than 60, the journal said.

The European Commission said Monday (1 February) the shortfall in deliveries from Anglo-Swedish firm AstraZeneca had forced it to recalibrate its early coronavirus vaccination strategy.

Palestine kicked off its COVID-19 vaccination campaign this week, with health workers the first to be inoculated.

The use of two vectors, which are given 21 days apart, is meant to boosting the effect of the vaccine.

Serious side effects were rare in both groups.

Nearly a quarter of a million people have been vaccinated in Hungary with the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

Asked about Sputnik V, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that a few weeks ago, he had sent a scientific mission to Russian Federation and the exchanges were positive. Only four deaths were reported, although none were considered to come from the vaccine.

Kazakhstan has made the right strategic choice in producing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine on its territory, Denis Logunov, Deputy Director for scientific work at the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, told in an interview to the Kazakh media, Kazinform correspondent reports.

The first shot of the Russian vaccine uses a common cold-causing adenovirus to carry genes that prepare the human body to fight against COVID-19. The vaccine has a higher efficacy than Covishield, which is a version of the vaccine originally developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. The findings stand to add legitimacy to the Sputnik vaccine, which met with skepticism last August when the Russian government touted its move to formally register the world's first vaccine, despite not having completed clinical trials.

"Sputnik V is a vaccine for all mankind", RDIF chief executive officer Kirrill Dmitriev had said in a note on Tuesday.

"Initially, I had some concerns about what they were saying and thought they were getting too much publicity, but the data are now very strong", Roy said.

The Associated Press reported this story.

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