TOPIC: General Studies 2
In News: In a move that will further strengthen the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Russia authorised the one-shot Sputnik Light version of its Covid vaccine for use.
The Sputnik Light vaccine
According to Russia’s health ministry, Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund – who are the developers of the vaccine, the data for Sputnik Light was taken 28 days after it was administered as part of the country’s mass vaccination program between December 5th and April 15th.
- The vaccine has proven effective against all new strains of coronavirus.
- Demonstrated 79.4 per cent efficacy compared to 91.6 per cent for the two-shot Sputnik V.
- A single dose of the vaccine will cost under 10 dollars. The one-shot regimen will allow for the immunization of a larger number of people in a shorter period of time.
- The cost of Sputnik Light globally will be less than $10, and it has simple storage requirements, at +2 +8, which provide for easy logistics
- Phase I and II of the safety and immunogenicity study of Sputnik Light had demonstrated that it can elicit the development of antigen specific IgG antibodies in 96.9% of individuals on the 28th day after vaccination, and that elicits the development of virus neutralising antibodies in 91.67% of individuals on the 28th day after immunisation.
- The infection rate among vaccinated subjects from the 28th day from the date of the injection was 0.277%. Over the same period, the infection rate among unvaccinated adults was 1.349%.
- The Phase III clinical study involving 7,000 people was conducted in multiple countries, including Russia, the UAE and Ghana. The interim results are expected in May.
Russia has named India, South Korea and China among the countries that will produce Sputnik Light.
The mechanism: A recombinant vaccine uses specific parts of the virus. Since they are made using only pieces of the virus, they result in an extremely strong immune response that targets key parts of the virus. They can be administered to everyone and even people with weak immune systems and long-term health problems. However, a limitation of this vaccine is it may need booster shots to continue to provide protection against diseases.
Experts say that a single dose COVID-19 vaccine will help vaccinate twice as many people in the same amount of time, but the long term protection of these vaccines remain unclear, without the backing of robust clinical efficacy data.
However, a single-dose vaccine would have benefit over a two-dose vaccine in that it could be administered to twice as many people in the same amount of time and vaccinating as many people as possible as quickly as possible is key to controlling the outbreak.
Connecting the Dots:
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- Can the single dose Sputnik Light COVID-19 jab be a game changer for India? Critically analyse.