By Eurasia Business News – February 6, 2021

Samples of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, in Moscow, Russia. Registered on August, 6 2020. Photo credit : The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

The head of European Union diplomacy, Josep Borrell, expressed hope that the Russian vaccine “Sputnik V” against COVID-19 will soon be used throughout the European Union. 

During an official visit to Moscow, Mr. Borrell said that “the use of the vaccine “Sputnik V” is good news for all mankind.

Now I hope that the European Medical Agency can validate the effectiveness of this vaccine so that it can also be used in the EU countries,” said Josep Borrell.

This will be good news because we are facing a shortage of vaccines.”

The EU Commission has not announced plans for the collective procurement of doses of the Russian vaccine. So far, the European Union relies on deals made with other manufacturers. But EU member states can choose to negotiate separate agreements if they do not compete with a pre-purchase agreement.

The Lancet magazine has recently published an article about the results of the third phase of clinical trials of the Russian vaccine “Sputnik V”. An interim analysis showed the vaccine to be 91.6% effective. The trial results show a consistent strong protective effect across all participant age groups. Also known as Gam-COVID-Vac, the vaccine uses a heterologous recombinant adenovirus approach using adenovirus 26 (Ad26) and adenovirus 5 (Ad5) as vectors for the expression of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein. The use of two varying serotypes, which are given 21 days apart, is intended to overcome any pre-existing adenovirus immunity in the population.

“Sputnik V” was created by the Russian Institute Gamaleya and was registered in Russia in August 2020. The Russian Direct Investment Fund hopes that the vaccine will be approved by the European Union Medicine Agency by March.

Firstly skeptical, the Europeans now pay attention to the Sputnik V vaccine, developed by the Russian Institute Gamaleïa, as they are lacking anti-Covid-19 vaccine doses after the delivery delays announced by Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca. Germany is already offering to produce the Russian vaccine if the European Medicines Agency gives the green light. 

In August 2020, the European states were very cautious and expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the Russian vaccine. Europe was looking for results from the United States. But after the results of the Russian vaccination campaign started in December 2020, Western Europe has changed its mind, as the massive orders of US and British vaccines have been delayed. In France, Germany or Spain, voices calling for ordering Russian vaccines are growing.

The Russian scientists have a solid background in the field of vaccines since the Gamaleya Institute, has worked in the previous years on vaccines against EBOLA and MERS coronavirus [Middle East respiratory syndrome emerged in 2012, caused by another type of coronavirus].

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