Sputnik V Claims to Provide Twice The Protection Against Omicron Compared to its Competitor

According to an announcement by the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology (Gamaleya Center) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, investor in Sputnik V and Sputnik Light coronavirus vaccines), a unique independent comparative study conducted at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani (Italy) by a joint team of researchers of the Institute and the Gamaleya Center showing that 2 doses of Sputnik V provide more than 2 times higher geometric mean titers (GMT) of virus neutralising antibodies to the Omicron variant of COVID than 2 doses of Pfizer vaccine (2.1 times higher in total and 2.6 times higher 3 months after vaccination).

The study was conducted in Spallanzani Institute in the equal laboratory conditions at the Italian Spallanzani Institute on comparable groups of sera from individuals vaccinated with Sputnik V and Pfizer, with no statistically significant difference in neutralising activity against Wuhan variant.

The advantages of Sputnik V are the use of native S glycoprotein (spike protein without proline-stabilisation and other modifications) and the use of a heterologous prime-boost vaccination regimen. The Pfizer vaccine utilises the spike protein in a proline-stabilised form in contrast to Sputnik V. Proline-stabilisation and other modifications may move an immune response predominantly to the actively mutating receptor-binding domain (RBD) of spike protein. In the Omicron variant, a substantial number of mutations were registered precisely in RBD, which is why such a significant drop in neutralising activity against this variant may be observed in the sera of Pfizer-vaccinated.

Vaccine boosts with “mix & match” approach

Boosting with Sputnik Light as part of the “mix & match” approach may help address the lower efficacy of mRNA vaccines against Omicron as well as the documented, quickly waning, efficacy of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. Partnerships between adenoviral and mRNA vaccines could provide for stronger protection against Omicron and other variants.

Results of the study in Italy confirm Sputnik V offers the strongest protection against Omicron. The adenoviral platform has shown high efficacy in fighting mutations of COVID previously. Partnership of different platforms is the key and heterologous (“mix & match”) boosting with Sputnik Light will help strengthen efficacy of other vaccines in light of combined Delta and Omicron challenge.”

– Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund

Sputnik Light has already shown strong results as a booster in “mix & match” trials in Argentina. A combination of Sputnik Light with vaccines produced by AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Moderna and Cansino, conducted in 5 provinces (City and Province of Buenos Aires, as well as Córdoba, La Rioja and San Luis) has demonstrated that Sputnik Light induces stronger antibody and T-cell response as compared to a homologous regimen (two shots of the same vaccine). Each “vaccine cocktail” combination with Sputnik Light provided higher antibody titer on the 14th day after administering a second dose when compared to original homologous (same vaccine as first and second dose) regimens of each of the vaccines.

Sputnik Light as a booster significantly increases virus neutralizing activity against Omicron, which is comparable to titers observed after Sputnik V against wild-type virus, associated with high levels of protection. The study results were summarised in an article available at: www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.17.21267976v1


Editor’s note: Sputnik V is only recognised in 73 countries as a valid COVID-19 vaccine. It is not recognised in Singapore and Malaysia. Please consult a medical expert if you are considering receiving the Sputnik V as a booster.

Images: Russian Direct Investment Fund

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