COVID-19 vaccine update: Russia asks AstraZeneca to combine its drug with Sputnik V to boost efficacy

The Russian Gamaleya research institute has suggested UK pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca try to boost the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine by combining it with a shot of Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V.

According to a report by Reuters, Russia said its Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective at protecting people from COVID-19, according to interim trial results, while AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 70% effective in pivotal trials and could be up to 90% effective.

"Current full dose AstraZeneca regimen resulted in 62% efficacy. If they go for a new clinical trial, we suggest trying a regimen of combining the AZ shot with the #SputnikV human adenoviral vector shot to boost efficacy. Combining vaccines may prove important for revaccinations," the Gamaleya research institute wrote on Twitter.

On Monday, AstraZeneca released interim results of its candidate vaccine showing two different levels of efficacy depending on the dosing regimen. Efficacy in patients administered two full doses one month apart was 62 percent, while in those administered a half-dose and then a full dose it reached 90 percent. The UK company is planning additional vaccine trials.

In August, Russia became the first country to register a COVID-19 vaccine, which was named Sputnik V. The clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya research institute, have demonstrated that its efficacy rate is over 90 percent.

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