Russia on Thursday authorized the use of a one-shot coronavirus vaccine called “Sputnik Light,” according to the country’s sovereign wealth fund, a move designed to boost vaccine supplies in countries with surging infection rates.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund said Sputnik Light, a slimmed-down vaccine developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Research Institute, has an efficacy rate of 79.4% and would cost less than $10 a dose.
RDIF said the shot, the first component of the country’s flagship two-dose Sputnik V vaccine, is compatible with standard vaccine storage and logistics requirements.
It claims one of the potential uses of the single-shot vaccine is for the immunization of a larger number of people in a shorter time frame, noting it can be shipped at speed to a country in the midst of an acute outbreak.
RDIF said late-stage Phase III trials involving 7,000 people were underway in Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Ghana, among other countries. Interim results were expected later this month.
Phase I and Phase II results of the single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine found the shot demonstrated safety for all subjects and no serious adverse events were registered, it said.
“The single dose regimen solves the challenge of immunizing large groups in a shorter time, which is especially important during the acute phase of the spread of coronavirus, achieving herd immunity faster,” Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of RDIF, said in a statement.
Dmitriev said that while Sputnik Light had “an affordable price” of under $10, the two-dose Sputnik V vaccine “remains the main source of vaccination in Russia.”
“The Sputnik Light vaccine will be exported to our international partners to help increase the rate of vaccinations in a number of countries in the face of the ongoing fight with the pandemic and new strains of coronavirus,” he added.
As of Wednesday, RDIF said over 20 million people around the world had received their first dose of the Sputnik V vaccine.
“Sputnik Light will help to prevent the spread of coronavirus through the faster immunization of larger population groups, as well as supporting high immunity levels in those who have already been infected previously,” Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, said in a statement.
“Sputnik Light offers strong value in initial vaccination and re-vaccination, as well as boosting efficacy when taken in combination with other vaccines.”