Support The Moscow Times!

85% of Russian Coronavirus Vaccine Volunteers See No Side Effects – Developer

The double-blind trial for Sputnik V’s long-term safety and effectiveness involves 40,000 volunteers. Sergei Kiselyov / Moskva News Agency

Around 85% of Russian volunteers who receive the country’s highly touted coronavirus Sputnik V vaccine report no side effects, according to the developer of the adenovirus-based shot. 

The state-run Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology became the first in the world to register a Covid-19 vaccine in August before final clinical trials began the following month. The double-blind trial for Sputnik V’s long-term safety and effectiveness involves 40,000 volunteers, 10,000 of whom are expected to receive a placebo.

Alexander Gintsburg, the head of Moscow-based Gamaleya, told state television that Sputnik V’s side effects include a fever of 38 degrees Celsius, headaches and muscle pain.

“Such side effects are observed in approximately 15% of the vaccinated people,” Gintsburg told Rossia 24, according to the state-run TASS news agency.

“So it’s not difficult to understand that 85% of vaccinated people experience no side effects or any inconvenience,” he added.

The figures are consistent with those observed in the early stages of Sputnik V’s final trials, when approximately 15% of 300 volunteers in September had complained of weakness, muscle pain and an occasional fever. 

Gintsburg estimated that around 19,000 Russians have received the first shot of the two-dose Sputnik V vaccine so far and 6,000 have received both. 

Several high-ranking government officials have reported taking part in the Sputnik V trials.

Around 50 countries have said they plan to purchase or were looking to purchase the vaccine.

Russian state-backed researchers have developed two other Covid-19 vaccines, which are undergoing various stages of government approval and clinical trials.

Meanwhile, Russia notched another record of 17,347 new Covid-19 cases Monday, pushing the overall number of infections to the world’s fourth-highest at 1.53 million.

Polls have said that almost half of Russians do not plan to receive the Covid-19 vaccine at any point.

Read more

We need your help now more than ever.

Independent media outlets and journalists in Russia are being increasingly targeted with “foreign agent” and “undesirable” labels, threatening the existence of the free press day by day.

Your donation to The Moscow Times directly supports the last independent English-language news source within Russia.