In a dramatic first among nations, Russia approved its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in August. Two months later, the country is sharing data that it says points to the vaccine's effectiveness. The Wall Street Journal reports interim results from the 40,000-person Phase 3 trial that is underway have found 92% efficacy against COVID-19, a percentage in line with what Pfizer announced regarding its vaccine on Monday. There were also no adverse side effects beyond those typical of vaccines, such as headaches, fever, and tenderness at the injection site. The results were shared by the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which was established by the government to invest in companies in accelerating sectors and is driving the vaccine effort.
Reuters stacks Russia's results up against Pfizer's and reports the latter involve higher numbers. The data comes from the number of trial volunteers who ended up contracting COVID-19. In the case of Sputnik V, 20 participants were found to have COVID-19; researchers then looked at which had gotten the vaccine vs. placebo to come up with the 92% figure. In the case of Pfizer, there were 94 COVID infections. The two-shot Sputnik V has thus far been administered to 10,000 Russians who work in high-risk sectors, and Russia says it now plans to begin mass vaccinations, though production issues have led officials to drop the expected number of doses produced by year's end from 30 million to between 2 million and 10 million. Russia says the Sputnik V trial will continue for six months; Pfizer will continue its own trial until it hits 164 COVID-19 cases. (Read more coronavirus stories.)