Russia's Sputnik V vaccine around 90% effective against Delta variant: Report

The emergence of Delta variant has added fear to the ongoing struggle against the COVID-19. However, in a sigh of relief, Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is around 90% effective against the variant of coronavirus, a report cited Denis Logunov, deputy director of the Gamaleya Institute that developed the vaccine, as saying on Tuesday.

The shot was previously found by the researchers to be almost 92% effective against the original strain of coronavirus.

Logunov said the Delta variant efficacy figure was calculated based on information from digital medical records and on vaccination records.

A week ago, the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, the facility where Sputnik V was developed told that the vaccine protects against all known variants of Covid-19.

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 select private hospitals for Rs Rs 1,145 per dose.

In a statement, Alexander Gintsburg, head of the institute, said, "Antibodies developed after vaccination with #SputnikV protect from all variants of COVID know."

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. The strain, which has 23 known mutations so far, has become the dominant variant both in the UK and the United States.

On the other hand, 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. The highly transmissible Delta variant has further mutated to form the Delta Plus variant.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) cited a study on June 15 to say 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.

Meanwhile, the wait for commercial launch of Sputnik V COVID vaccine may get longer as Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd expects some delays due to import and quality testing issues. "Our last update on Jun 16 had already accounted for the slight postponement in the timeline of the commercial launch due to dependency on imported consignments, and quality testing in India," the company said in an email response on the issue.

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