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Three-month pause between doses of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine possible & may be beneficial efficacy-wise, says developer

Three-month pause between doses of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine possible & may be beneficial efficacy-wise, says developer
Taking a longer pause between the two required shots of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 to speed up the global immunization campaign is viable, and may even build up a stronger immune response, its developer has said.

Like most other jabs designed to fight the coronavirus, Sputnik V is delivered in two injections administered weeks apart, with a booster shot ramping up the defense provided by the initial dose. Some countries such as Britain successfully experimented with an alternative immunization regimen, prioritizing giving as many people as possible the first jab and postponing the second one beyond what is recommended by producers.

The approach will be viable with the Russian vaccine, its developer said on Monday, suggesting that a pause of up to three months can be taken between the two injections.

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“Extending the interval will not affect the vaccine-induced immune response, and, in some cases, will enhance and prolong it,” Alexander Gintsburg, the head of the Gamaleya Research Institute said.

“We also believe that, given the exceptionally high demand for the vaccine among the population, this decision would significantly expedite immunization,” he added.

Officially called “Gam-COVID-Vac”, the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya lab was the first to be registered in Russia. It is being offered domestically and to the global market under the brand name Sputnik V. Some 60 nations have approved its emergency use.

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Unlike other vaccines, Sputnik V’s two shots are slightly different, using two strains of human adenovirus as the delivery mechanism. The same platform has been extensively tested in vaccines against other diseases, which helped the lab to develop the new medicine at short notice. Russia itself does not plan to use the altered injection regimen, Gintsburg noted.

Single-shot vaccination with Sputnik V was previously suggested by the vaccine's global promoter, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which dubbed this regimen ‘Sputnik Light’.

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