Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine shows 'strong protection' vs Omicron variant---RDIF, Gamaleya

Sputnik vaccines

Russia's COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V has showed a "strong protection" against the highly infectious Omicron coronavirus variant, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology said on Thursday, Jan. 20.

“Sputnik V demonstrates strong protection against Omicron variant, with over two times higher virus neutralizing activity compared to the Pfizer vaccine,” the statement read.

"A unique independent comparative study conducted at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani (Italy) by a joint team of researchers of the Institute and the Gamaleya Center showing that two doses of Sputnik V provide more than two times higher geometric mean titers (GMT) of virus neutralizing antibodies to the Omicron variant of COVID than two doses of Pfizer vaccine (2.1 times higher in total and 2.6 times higher three months after vaccination)," it furthered.

The RDIF and Gamaleya noted that “previous studies also demonstrated additional significant strengthening of protection against Omicron by Sputnik Light booster, which can also be a universal booster to other vaccines to strengthen and lengthen their protection against Omicron."

This was based on the comparative study conducted at the Italian Spallanzani Institute, the RDIF and Gamaleya said.

The reasons for the higher vaccine performance of the Sputnik V are: it "develops a wider pool of antibodies to different epitopes in contrast to Pfizer vaccine, which utilizes the spike protein in a proline-stabilized form directed mainly to the specific epitopes, which were highly affected by the mutations in the Omicron variant; heterologous prime-boost vaccination regimen of Sputnik scheme; better mimicking of adenoviral vaccine platform of the infection," they said.

In the Philippines, both the Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines were granted authorization for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration.