20200811 sputnik v
Image Credit: AP

In the first publicly available test results for Russia's already widely distributed vaccine, Sputnik V, it was shown to be 91.6 per cent effective against the coronavirus in Phase 3 trials, according to peer-reviewed results published in the 'Lancet', a British medical journal.

The findings make Sputnik only the third vaccine to have an efficacy of over 90 per cent after a vaccine from US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, produced with German biotech firm BioNTech, and one from US biotech firm Moderna.

Almost 20,000 participants took part in the trial, with roughly three-quarters receiving the vaccine, while the remainder received a placebo. It marks the first large-scale, peer-reviewed results showing the efficacy of Sputnik V, which is already in use in Russia and several other nations.

"The publication of internationally peer reviewed data on Sputnik V's clinical trial results is a great success in the global battle against the COVID-19 pandemic," Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology which developed the vaccine, said in a statement Tuesday.

In the trial, participants who received Sputnik V were administered two doses 21 days apart. The data shows 62 confirmed cases were found in placebo group, compared with 16 found in the vaccine group.

The trial included over 2,000 volunteers who were over 60 years old. Results did not differ statistically for this older group.

There were limited side effects in those who received Sputnik V, the developers said, with 94 per cent of adverse effects mild, including flu-like symptoms and reactions at the site of the injection.