Sputnik Vaccine – Deliveries Begin at Russia’s Centers of Immunization

Introduction
The world has been waiting for a vaccine to end the current COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Russia has taken the bold step of taking an early lead in the immunization race. On Saturday, December 5th, 2.2 million doses of the Sputnik vaccine have been delivered to the country’s centers of immunization across 80 regions to commence immunization campaigns.

What is the Sputnik Vaccine?
Simply put, the Sputnik vaccine is a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Ministry of Health. Even though the vaccine was declared safe and effective earlier this year, it is still undergoing phase 3 trials, which is a requirement before it can be approved by the World Health Organization.

Sputnik-V: Comparing It to Other Vaccines

The Sputnik vaccine joins a race that is filled with vaccines from other countries. So how does it compare to the other vaccines out there?

  1. Length of the Protection Period
    The vaccine offers protection for up to two years after the second dose. This is more than the protection period from the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna mRNA vaccines which have been reported to last up to six months after the second shot.

  2. Manufacturing
    The Sputnik vaccine is cheaper and easier to manufacture than other vaccines due to its low cost of production. This makes it much more accessible to developing countries around the world, which will go a long way in helping curb the pandemic.

  3. Storage Conditions
    Unlike other COVID-19 vaccines, which require storage temperatures as low as -70°C, the Sputnik vaccine only requires temperatures between +2°C and +8°C (or between 36°F and 46°F). This makes it much more accessible for countries with limited cold storage facilities.

  4. Delivery Method
    This vaccine uses an established delivery method, which is a vector-based delivery system, unlike many of the other vaccines whose technology is newer.

The Science Behind the Vaccine 

The Sputnik vaccine uses a strain of live, weakened adenovirus as a carrier for the genes that teach the body how to make the immunizing spike protein of the COVID-19 virus. This means that after recipients are given two shots of the vaccine around 21 days apart, their body will learn to recognize and respond to the virus, ultimately giving them immunity. This technology is also used in other vaccines, such as the AstraZeneca-Oxford University and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Russia’s President Putin Praises the Vaccine Russian President 

Vladimir Putin took to national television to give a speech praising the Sputnik vaccine and the team of scientists responsible for its development. During his statement, Putin also declared that he had already taken the vaccine, although he urged people to remain cautious and take their required doses.

Criticisms of the Vaccine 

The vaccine was approved by Russian officials before the completion of its Phase 3 trial, which is usually the final test in developing a COVID-19 vaccine. This led to some raise concerns about the potential risks of a premature approval, as well as the possible lack of transparency surrounding the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.

Reception from Medical Professionals

Despite its early approval, the medical community is still cautiously optimistic about the vaccine. Since the announcement of the Sputnik vaccine, many leaders from the medical community around the world have weighed in with their support. This includes not only Russia but also a number of other countries that are actively working with Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and supporting their mission to develop and disseminate the vaccine.

Drugmaker Global Access 

In a bid to make the Sputnik vaccine available to countries around the world, its developer, the Gamaleya Institute, has partnered with leading drug companies in the United Kingdom and India. This allows them to produce, store, and distribute the vaccine via their existing networks.

The Sputnik vaccine is an important step in helping to curb the pandemic. Despite criticisms and concerns about its safety and efficacy, the medical community has responded with cautious optimism. With the help of its partners, the vaccine is becoming more accessible to the countries in need. Hopefully, the vaccine will be able to help us put an end to this pandemic and normalize life around the globe.