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.