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27 Jul, 2021 13:51

Russia approves clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine cocktail: 150 volunteers to receive one dose each of Sputnik V & AstraZeneca

Russia approves clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine cocktail: 150 volunteers to receive one dose each of Sputnik V & AstraZeneca

The Russian Ministry of Health is to test the effectiveness of combining the Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine with the British AstraZeneca jab. Clinical trials are due to begin soon and are planned to last until March 2022.

It is planned to check the “safety and immunogenicity study of the drug combination.” The process will be conducted by five different medical organizations around the country.

The idea of combining the two vaccines was first discussed last year, but in May 2021, the Health Ministry’s ethical committee opted to postpone the approval of the clinical trials until later. Now, they have been given the green light, and 150 volunteers will take part.

Also on rt.com Russia's flagship Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine is effective against all known new variants of the killer virus, developer claims

Both the Sputnik V and AstraZeneca vaccines are two-component adenovirus vector vaccines. In the British shot, both the first and second components use the same vector, while Sputnik V has two completely different jabs. The combination will involve the first dose of the Russian formula, which is based on the same vector used by AstraZeneca.

The initial dose of Sputnik V is also being given to Russians as a stand-alone vaccine, dubbed ‘Sputnik Light’.

The plans to test the combination of the two jabs were announced last year by AstraZeneca, which revealed that it would “soon begin exploring with Gamaleya Research Institute in Russia to understand whether two adenovirus-based vaccines can be successfully combined.”

Also on rt.com Spain says mixing AstraZeneca and Pfizer is safe and effective, limited side effects noted

The Russian Direct Investment Fund, the entity responsible for marketing Sputnik V abroad, welcomed the news, noted that trials of vaccine cocktails have been ongoing in the UAE, Azerbaijan, and Argentina since February.

Sputnik V was the first Covid-19 vaccine to be registered in the world, in August 2020. Since then, it has been approved in 69 countries. Earlier this month, British magazine Nature published an article on the shot’s usage outside of Russia, concluding that evidence shows it is safe and effective.

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