The Sputnik V vaccine candidate has shown "high efficacy" in interim data, demonstrating 92 per cent effectiveness against COVID-19, Russian authorities have said.
The announcement comes two days after American drug major Pfizer released interim information that showed its COVID-19 vaccine was over 90 per cent effective.
While Pfizer's interim data was collected from over 43,500 participants, the Sputnik V findings evaluated some 16,000 participants, a spokesperson for the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said.
The Russian sovereign wealth fund has partnered with Dr Reddy's to test the vaccine in India.
"The confirmation is based on the first interim data from the largest double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled Phase III clinical trials in Russia involving 40,000 volunteers," RDIF said in a release.
"The trials evaluated efficacy among over 16,000 volunteers who received the vaccine or placebo 21 days after the first injection. As a result of a statistical analysis of 20 confirmed cases of coronavirus, the case split between vaccinated individuals and those who received the placebo indicates that the Sputnik V vaccine had an efficacy rate of 92 per cent after the second dose," it said.
"There are two forms of the Sputnik V vaccine – liquid, which would have to be stored at minus 18°C and lyophilised (freeze dried), which can be stored at 2°C to 8°C. The lyophilised form was developed especially for the transportation of the vaccine to remote places, as Russia is a very big country," the RDIF spokesperson said.
"India is also a very big country…the vaccine was developed considering the big distance that it would have to travel to reach the remote areas," he added.
Sputnik V is a human adenovirus vaccine that uses two weakened and genetically modified common cold viruses to carry the code for the cells in the human body to build the COVID-19 spike protein.
The body's immune system is expected to recognise this spike protein as a threat and develop an immune response to fight it, so that the real covid-19 virus would not be able to infect when it tries to attack.