Russia claims its coronavirus vaccine is 92% effective

Russia says its homegrown vaccine is more powerful than the Pfizer formulation, which is 90% effective.

By World Israel News Staff

The Russian investment group that is funding a coronavirus vaccine said Wednesday its “Sputnik V” vaccine showed 92% effectiveness in clinical trials, only two days after the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced its own vaccine was 90% effective.

Pfizer hopes to get authorization to distribute its vaccine as early as this month.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) published a statement saying their results were based on a clinical trial test group of 40,000 participants, half of whom had received two injections of the two-dose vaccine.

On Monday, Pfizer made headlines around the world announcing the results of its clinical trial, with American officials saying they would be ready to start distributing inoculations within 24-hours of getting the green light.

In July, Western governments accused hackers believed to be part of Russian intelligence of trying to steal valuable private information about a coronavirus vaccine, calling out the Kremlin in an unusually detailed public warning to scientists and medical companies.

That warning was followed in August by Russia saying it was preparing to approve the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, after which leading health commentators expressed skepticism about the formula actually working based on suspicions of corner-cutting and lack of human testing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that one of his daughters has already been inoculated with the vaccine, but that was before the phase three trials that are a necessary step in proving the safety and efficacy of new medicines. 

At the time, Israeli authorities helped recruit hospitals to collaborate in Russia’s clinical trials, with Jerusalem’s renowned Hadassah University Medical Center being among them.

Last week, the head of Haddasah hospital asked the government to approve 1.5 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine he ordered from Russia.

Professor Ze’ev Rotstein said the hospital ordered the unproven vaccine to be on the safe side and will only administer shots to the public when the human trials are complete and Israel’s Health Ministry has given its approval.

Rotstein said according to his colleagues in Moscow, the Russian vaccine has so far proven to be safe and it would be a tragic mistake to ignore its availability.

“If we turn down the Russian vaccine before the regulatory process is complete and other countries provide it to their populations, we will have no one to blame but ourselves,” Rotstein told Ynet.

“We have respect for the Russian vaccine, and our Moscow branch has been involved in its human trial,” Rotstein said. “We are hearing very good things.”