Sputnik V, the world’s first registered covid 19 vaccine. It is based on a well studied human adenovirus vector platform.
Sputnik V Vaccine Naming
This vaccine is given the name Sputnik V because of the first Soviet space satellite. The launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957 reinvigorated space research around the world that created the “Sputnik moment” for the global community.
Sputnik V Vaccine is Made by
Sputnik V is made by The Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow. This is why Sputnik V vaccine is also known as Gam-COVID-Vac.
Sputnik V Vaccination Process
Very similar to AstraZeneca Vaccine, Moderna Vaccine, Johnson and Johnson Covid Vaccine, Pfizer BioNTech Covid Vaccine, etc. Sputnik V vaccine is given through an intramuscular route into the upper arm, preferably in the deltoid muscle.
Sputnik V dose interval
The time gap between the two doses of Sputnik V is that- the second dose of Sputnik V is given 21 days after the first dose. So the gap between the two doses of the Sputnik V vaccine is 21 days.
Sputnik V Vaccine Composition
Composition of Sputnik V vaccine is different for both doses. Yes, Sputnik V first dose composition is different from the Sputnik V second dose. Sputnik V has two different adenoviruses in two doses. For the first dose, the adenovirus vector is rAd26. For the second dose, the adenovirus vector is rAd5. Both of these are non replicating viral vectors.
Sputnik V Efficacy
As per reports, Sputnik V efficacy is 97.6 percent as per the analysis of data on the incidence of coronavirus among Russians vaccinated with both doses of the vaccine between December 5, 2020, to March 31, 2021.
Three phases of clinical trials are completed for this vaccine. Phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials were completed on August 1, 2020. The phase 3 clinical trials were completed and the trial result of phase 3 was published in Russia in the Lancet magazine on February 2, 2021.
Phase 3 clinical trial is already successful in UAE, India, Venezuela, and Belarus.
How Sputnik V Works (Mechanism of action)
The Sputnik V vaccine is based on a human adenovirus vector platform. This human adenovirus vector platform is a proven and well studied platform. So it is safe to use. These vectors can cause the common cold in human body.
Sputnik V is the first coronavirus vaccine that uses a heterogenous boosting approach based on two different vectors for the two shots of the vaccine.
Because of these two different vector approaches, this vaccine generates a more sustainable immunity compared to vaccines that use the same delivery mechanism for both two shots.
A fragment of genetic material is extracted from coronavirus that codes information about the spike S protein structure. This S protein forms the virus “crown” and this is responsible for connection with human cells inside our body. Now they are inserted into a familiar adenovirus vector for the delivery inside our body ( into the human cells).
The most interesting part of this vaccine is, this vaccine gives lasting immunity because it uses two different types of adenovirus vectors ( rAd26 and rAd5) for the first dose and second dose. Thus this boosts the effectiveness of this vaccine.
The use of human adenovirus as a vector is safe. Because these viruses that cause the common cold are not novel and it is present for thousands of years. So this vaccine is safe to use because these vectors will not cause any harm inside our body.
How do adenovirus vector based vaccines work?
Now, for better understanding we need to know what is a vector and how it works. Simple, “vectors” are vehicles that can induce a genetic material from another virus into a cell. So the genes from adenovirus that cause the infection are removed and the gene with the code of a protein from another virus spike is inserted. This inserted element is not only safe for the body; it also helps the immune system of our body to react against it. Thus it produces antibodies. These antibodies protect us from future infection.
The adenovirus based vector platform makes it easier and faster to create new vaccines. It does so by modifying the initial carrier vector with genetic material from new emerging viruses that help to create a new vaccine within a short period. The best part is that such vaccines provoke a strong response from our human immune system.
Here it is important to mention that human adenoviruses are considered as some of the easiest to engineer in this way. So they have become very popular as vectors.
How safe Sputnik V Vaccine is?
The safety, efficacy, or effectiveness, and lack of long term adverse effects of adenovirus vaccines have already been proven in more than 250 clinical trials over two decades.
Sputnik V does not cause severe allergies. So it is safe for those who fear getting an allergy after taking the vaccine.
Sputnik V Effectiveness
Sputnik V is effective against new strains of coronavirus based on a study by the Gamaleya Research Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology published in the leading international magazine Vaccines.
This vaccine is able to produce protective neutralizing antibody titres against new strains such as Alpha B.1.1.7 (this was first identified in the UK), Beta B.1.351 (this was first identified in South Africa), Gamma P.1 ( this was first identified in Brazil), Delta B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3 (this was first identified in India) and variants B.1.1.141 and B.1.1.317 with mutations in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) identified in Moscow.
Sputnik V Vaccine and Delta Variant
There is no enough data available that how much sputnik V vaccine is effective against delta variant. Though initial trail reports claimed that it is effective against delta variant but the confusion arose as Russia has recently seen a surge of Delta variant covid cases.
In one side there is no transparent data available about its effectiveness against delta variant of corona virus. On the other side, since June 2021 the surge of delta variant cases with increased death rate (mortality rate) among Russian population has definitely questioning the effectiveness of Sputnik V vaccine against delta variant of covid 19.
Sputnik V Vaccine Side effects
The side effects are just like other covid 19 vaccines. The side effects are mostly mild. No serious or rare adverse effects such as blood clots after taking the vaccine are reported to date. More research is going on in this regard.
Sputnik V WHO Approval
Sputnik V is yet to get approval from WHO.
Sputnik V Controversies
There is no enough data available that how effective Sputnik V is against various strains of coronavirus. There are many controversies all over the world regarding its safety and efficacy as there is no clear-cut available data about its effectiveness against various mutations of coronavirus.
Though no rare side effects are reported to date, due to lack of data, many scientists are questioning its effectiveness against coronavirus.
Sputnik V got its approval for use in 69 countries including India but has not received authorization for emergency use from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the World health organization (WHO). Very recently, UNICEF signed a long term supply agreement for Sputnik V covid 19 vaccine.
It is true that Sputnik V is the first registered vaccine that was initially given to Russian population. It is also true that Sputnik V is the only two different adenovirus vectors based vaccine.
Sputnik is the only vaccine that used two different adenovirus vectors as composition in two different doses with the aim to give stronger immunity. It is important to note that adenovirus vector based vaccine are clinically proved for their effectiveness. So in that perspective this vaccine should give longer and stronger immunity.
But the confusion arises as there is no trial data to prove its theoretical data. Also in July 2021 the surge of death rate among Russian population due to delta variant is questioning the effectiveness of this vaccine. So as of now, present data is not enough to conclude anything- not against Sputnik V, nor even in support of Sputnik V. Now as you know the whole scenario, you can make your own decision. Before taking any final decision you may look once our article on Covaxine vs. Covishield Article. Whatever vaccine you take, you can follow the 7 essential steps before and after vaccination that will boost the effectiveness of your vaccine. Stay healthy and happy.