Russia's Sputnik V vaccine protects from all known variants of COVID-19: Head of Gamaleya Institute

Amid a rise in several variants of the novel coronavirus, Russia's Sputnik V vaccine can protect against all known variants of the virus. Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, the facility where Sputnik V was developed confirmed this update on Tuesday.

In a statement on Tuesday, Alexander Gintsburg said, "Antibodies developed after vaccination with #SputnikV protect from all variants of COVID known today, starting from the UK variant to the so-called Delta variant, first detected in India."

Sputnik V is the third vaccine after Covishield and Covaxin to have received emergency use approval in India. The two-dose adenoviral vector-based coronavirus vaccine is being administered in selective private hospitals for Rs 1,145 per dose.

Talking about the variants, the UK strain (B.1.1.7), tagged by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the Alpha variant, was first discovered in Kent in September of last year, while, the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant was first found in India in October of last year. The highly transmissible strain has been identified as one of the drivers of the second wave of Covid-19 infections that devastated parts of the country in May.

On June 17, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on Tuesday said that the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine will soon offer a booster shot, adjusted to work against the Delta variant of coronavirus, first detected in India, to other vaccine manufacturers.

Notably, on June 15, RDIF in a study cited that Sputnik V is "more efficient against the Delta variant" of coronavirus than any other vaccine that has published results on the strain so far. The Gamaleya Center study has been "submitted for publication in an international peer-reviewed journal", said a tweet from the Russian-made vaccine's official Twitter handle.

Approved for emergency use in 67 countries, Sputnik V has an efficacy rate of over 91.6 per cent.

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