All around the world, people are waiting for their turn to be vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, to achieve a certain degree of protection against COVID-19. A lot of countries have invested in the research and development of these vaccines with the hope of many lives being saved and life returning to normalcy in the future.
In 2020, the Russian Ministry of Health, in collaboration with identified Russian institutes, developed an adenoviral vector vaccine for COVID-19, called the Sputnik V. It is the world’s first registered vaccine against the novel coronavirus disease and is a two-dose vaccine.
In May 2021, Russian regulators approved Sputnik Light, a single-dose version of the Sputnik V vaccine. According to its developers, it is effective against all new strains of coronavirus and shows about 80% efficacy against COVID-19.
The developers also stated that the single-dose regimen allows for immunization (resistance to any disease, typically by vaccination) of a larger number of people in a shorter period, and will help in the fight against the pandemic during this severe phase.
Here is all you need to know about Sputnik Light
1. In which country is the vaccine developed?
Sputnik Light has been developed in Russia by the Russian Ministry of Health, the Gamaleya National Research Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
2. How many countries will the vaccine be available in?
Many countries have shown interest in the Sputnik Light vaccine and have started registering themselves, either for its procurement or local manufacturing.
Currently, according to the developer, the Sputnik Light vaccine will be available for all countries as per the desired population.
3. How does the vaccine work?
Sputnik V is a two-dose vaccine made from recombinant adenovirus 26 (Ad26) and adenovirus 5 (Ad5), both of which are common cold-causing viruses. The first dose (Ad26) is the primary vaccine and the second (Ad5) is the booster shot.
The Sputnik Light vaccine is made from Ad26, which is the first part of the Sputnik V vaccine.
Similar to Sputnik V, the Sputnik Light is also an adenovirus viral vector vaccine. Viral vector vaccines use a modified version of a different virus (known as the vector) to deliver important instructions to your cells.
The adenovirus is combined with the coronavirus spike protein (S protein). This initiates an immune response to be developed in your body to protect against COVID-19 infection.
4. What is its efficacy?
According to Phase 1 and 2 of the Safety and Immunogenicity Study, Sputnik Light demonstrated a 79.4% efficacy.* The RDIF also said in a press release, “ An efficacy level of nearly 80 percent is higher than that of many other two-dose vaccines.”
*According to data taken from 28 days after the injection was administered as part of Russia's vaccination programme between 5 December 2020 and 15 April 2021.
5. What are the reported side effects of the vaccine?
According to its developers, no serious adverse events (undesirable experience associated with the use of a medical product) were registered after vaccination with Sputnik Light. The developers have also stated that it has no long-term side effects.
6. For which age group is it currently approved?
Sputnik light will be administered to people below 60 years of age in Russia. You will have to wait for official announcements made by individual countries to know the age group(s) permitted to take this vaccine.
7. Is it safe for administration to those who have already been infected with COVID-19?
Yes, it is safe. Experts believe that Sputnik Light supports high immunity (your body’s ability to fight against foreign agents such as bacteria and viruses) levels in those who have already been infected previously.
8. What is its storage requirement?
Sputnik Light has simple storage requirements. The vaccine can be stored at a normal refrigerator temperature of 2–8°C (36–46 °F).
9. What is the status of the vaccine in India?
India has approved the two-dose vaccine Sputnik V and received the first batch, which is being administered across India.
Russian authorities are in talks with the Indian government for the approval of Sputnik Light vaccine, which is expected to be available in India soon.
The final take is that a one-dose vaccine-like Sputnik Light can be a game-changer as it can speed up the process to vaccinate 1.3 billion people in India in a shorter duration.
1. RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. 2021. Russia OKs Sputnik Light, One-Dose Version Of Its COVID-19 Vaccine, For Export. [online] Available at: <https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-sputnik-light-covid-vaccine-export/31242270.html> [Accessed 13 May 2021].
2. Sputnikvaccine.com. 2021. Single dose vaccine, Sputnik Light, authorized for use in Russia. [online] Available at: <https://sputnikvaccine.com/newsroom/pressreleases/single-dose-vaccine-sputnik-light-authorized-for-use-in-russia/> [Accessed 13 May 2021].
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