The Russian scientist behind the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine claims the shot is likely to offer two years of protection against the illness, according to reports.
Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, made the bold claim as the Pfizer/BioNTech jab was rolled out Sunday in the start of the biggest vaccination effort in US history.
Gintsburg also claimed that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is unlikely to offer protection of longer than five months, the UK’s Sun reported.
“So far, I can only make suggestions, because more experimental data is needed. Our vaccine was created on the platform also used for the Ebola vaccine,” Gintsburg told the Soloviev Live channel on YouTube, the TASS news agency reported.
“Experimental data received at that point demonstrate that a similar vaccine would offer protection for two years, maybe more,” he said, adding that Sputnik V is effective in 96 percent of cases.
The remaining 4 percent of those vaccinated will have a mild form of the disease with runny nose, cough and a slight fever, but their lungs won’t be affected, Gintsburg said.
According to interim research results, the efficacy of Sputnik V exceeds 95 percent on the 42nd day after the first dose — provided that a second dose is administered.
Russia’s Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin attends a meeting with representatives of companies producing vaccines against COVID-19REUTERS
“It is difficult to say how long Pfizer’s drug protection will last,” Gintsburg said, The Sun reported.
“But based on the general action mechanism of such drugs we think the period of protection will last four (or) maximum five months,” he added.
The Pfizer vaccine – which was the first to get emergency use approval under the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed — also requires two doses to hit a 95 percent effectiveness level.