Story at a glance
- New clinical trial data showed the Sputnik V vaccine was 91.4 percent effective on day 28 after the first dose and more than 95 percent effective 42 days later.
- Russia claimed its vaccine will be cheaper than vaccines with similar efficacy.
- Russian citizens will receive the vaccine free of charge.
Russia on Tuesday said its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine will cost less than $10 per dose on international markets and is more than 95 percent effective.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the country’s sovereign wealth fund that is bankrolling the country’s vaccine efforts, said vaccination would be free of charge for Russian citizens beginning next year and about $20 internationally, as Sputnik V is a two dose vaccine.
“Therefore, Sputnik V will be two or more times cheaper than mRNA vaccines with similar efficacy levels,” the RDIF said in a statement.
Russia’s announcement comes as AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna have all recently announced their vaccine candidates are more than 90 percent effective. AstraZeneca’s vaccine was either 62 percent or 90 percent effective, depending on how the doses were given.
Requests for more than 1.2 billion doses of the Sputnik V vaccine have come from more than 50 countries. The vaccine supplies for the global market will be produced by RDIF’s international partners in India, China, South Korea, Brazil and other countries.
New clinical trial data showed the vaccine was 91.4 percent effective on day 28 after the first dose and more than 95 percent effective 42 days later.
The ongoing phase 3 trial of the shot will involve 40,000 volunteers in total. More than 22,000 volunteers have been vaccinated with the first dose and more than 19,000 volunteers with both doses.
In August, Russia became the first country in the world to gain regulatory approval for its COVID-19 vaccine, a move that was widely criticized as Sputnik V had not undergone crucial late-stage clinical trials that are essential to ensuring a vaccine is safe and effective.
More than 2.1 million cases have been confirmed in Russia with more than 36,000 deaths over the course of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
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