Saturday 1/16/21
VACCINATION

Russia looking to boost Sputnik V vaccine with single-dose version

Russia's Health Ministry gave approval on Monday to start tests into the light version of the vaccine.

A health worker shows one of the doses of the Sputnik V vaccine in the city of Rosario (Argentina). Photo: Alan Monzon/dpa.
A health worker shows one of the doses of the Sputnik V vaccine in the city of Rosario (Argentina). Photo: Alan Monzon/dpa.

 A Russian investment fund is financing research to see if Sputnik V, the coronavirus vaccine developed in Russia, can work as a single-dose inoculation.

Russia's Health Ministry gave approval on Monday to start tests into the light version of the vaccine, which could take several months.

Sputnik V was one of the first vaccines presented in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. However, since it was pushed to production before it had been thoroughly tested, many people are leery about taking it.

That said, given the international demand for a way to fight the virus and the relative scarcity and cost of some of the regulator-approved vaccines from the West, multiple countries have begun using Sputnik V, which is a two-dose vaccine.

Making it one-dose would make it easier to use and ship. However, initial work suggests the light version, if it works, would not grant protection as long-lasting as that expected from Sputnik V.

Temporary solution

"Sputnik Light is able to be an efficient temporary solution for many countries at the peak of the novel coronavirus infection case rate and endeavouring to save as [many] lives of their citizens as possible," said Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is funding the trials, in comments to TASS.

About 150 people have signed up to participate in the tests.

So far, about 1.5 million people in Russia have received the Sputnik V vaccine. In all, about 3.4 million people have been infected with the coronavirus since the pandemic spread to the country last year.

Numbers are showing signs of falling: On Monday, health officials only noted 23,300 new cases in the previous 24 hours.

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