Russia's potential coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, approved in the country last month, induced an antibody response in all participants with no serious side effects, according to the first peer-reviewed data on studies of the project. The vaccine produced a response in T-cells, a type of white blood cells that helps the immune system combat any infection, according to the preliminary results from phase 1 and phase 2 trials as published in The Lancet medical journal on Friday.
In this study, experts reported on two trials which took place in Russian hospitals involving 76 healthy adults in the age bracket 18-60 years, who were given a two-part immunisation. All participants were administered the vaccine without any control group, which is also one of the limitations cited in the report. The researchers took convalescent plasma from 4,817 people who recovered from mild or severe COVID-19 for comparing post-vaccination immunity with natural immunity. As per data, antibody responses were higher in those who were vaccinated.
Each participant was given a dose of the first part of the vaccine and then given a booster with the second part 21 days later. They were monitored over 42 days and all developed antibodies within three weeks. The trials were open and not randomised, implying there was no placebo and the participants knew they were receiving the vaccine and were not randomly assigned to different treatment groups.
Russia has been trying to seek international credibility after health officials across the globe have harshly panned the country's approval of Sputnik V last month, before it had gone for final stage trials. Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed Sputnik V named after the Soviet Union's 1957 launch of the world's first satellite into space, as the first vaccine globally to receive clearance.