Russia approves single-dose Sputnik Light COVID vaccine with 80% efficacy for use

As the world continues to fight deadly waves of coronavirus infection, there’s some good news on the vaccine front. Russian health officials have approved a single-dose version of the Sputnik V vaccine. Sputnik Light has showed nearly 80% efficacy in tests.

The developers of the shot said, in a statement, that Sputnik Light “demonstrated 79.4% efficacy” compared to 91.6% for the two-shot Sputnik V.

“The single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine demonstrated 79.4% efficacy according to analysed data taken from 28 days after the injection was administered as part of Russia’s mass vaccination programme between 5 December 2020 and 15 April 2021,” the RDIF said in a statement.

The Russian vaccine has been approved for use in over 60 countries.

But it has not yet been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Some Western countries have been wary of Sputnik V — named after the Soviet-era satellite — over concerns the Kremlin would use it as a soft-power tool to advance its interests.

Named Sputnik Light, the new version is identical to the first dose of the two-dose Sputnik V and has yet to complete the advanced testing needed to ensure its safety and effectiveness in line with established scientific protocols.

Russia started human trials of Sputnik Light in January, and the studies are still ongoing, according to official records.

Sputnik Light is the fourth domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine approved in Russia.

Commenting on the decision to authorize it for use, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday, “It’s nice to know that this range of tools (against Covid-19) is expanding.”

Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said authorising a fourth jab will help speed up the process of forming herd immunity against the virus.

It said more than 20 million people globally have received their first shot of Sputnik V.