Pandemic over by May in countries that mass-inoculate with Sputnik V vaccine: RDIF

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The COVID-19 pandemic will “basically end” by May 2021 in countries that have rolled out mass inoculations of their citizens with the Sputnik V vaccine, according to the chief executive of the state investment company behind its development.

Russia has already vaccinated 1.5 million of its citizens with Sputnik V, said CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev in an interview with Arab News on Monday.

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Nine countries have approved the vaccine and a further eight are expected to follow.

“Without question, we have the best vaccine in the world,” said Dmitriev.

“The Sputnik V vaccine, if you look at several key parameters such as safety, efficacy, logistics, length of shot, lack of allergies, lack of other significant consequences, it’s out there as the number one, the best vaccine in the world,” he added.

Russia said in November that Sputnik V was 91.4 percent effective based on interim late-stage trial results. Pfizer, on the other hand, said in November that its vaccine was 95 percent effective. Interim late-stage trials of British company AstraZeneca’s vaccine showed 90 percent efficacy.

Sputnik has yet to be approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an emergency countermeasure for countries struggling to source vaccines, in comparison to others. The Pfizer/BioNTech was the first vaccine to receive the emergency validation stamp from the organization at the end of last year.

Last week RDIF said that it would begin trialing a one-dose version of Sputnik V with the aim of providing a stopgap solution for badly hit countries. At the time, Dimitriev noted that “Sputnik Light” may be an “effective temporary solution” for countries that are facing high numbers of coronavirus infections, the Associated Press reported. Last year Dimitriev said the light version of the vaccine would be around 85 percent effective.

Sputnik V, named after the Soviet-era satellite, has already been distributed to 1.5 million people, Russia earlier said.

Russia first began vaccinations with Sputnik in December, while the vaccine was in stage three clinical trials, with Sputnik registered in August – months ahead of the country’s competitors in the west. Moscow has previously boasted that it already has more than one billion orders for the vaccine abroad.

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