Moscow/New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russias sovereign wealth fund) and the National Research Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology named after N.F. Gamaleya (Gamaleya Centre) has announced the creation of an international scientific advisory board for the Sputnik V vaccine – the worlds first registered vaccine against coronavirus.
Leading scientists in virology, microbiology, genetics and biotechnology from India, Argentina, Croatia, France, Germany, Russia, Sweden, the UK and the US have joined the board.
India is represented on the board by Vasanthapuram Ravi, Dean, Basic Sciences, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS).
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said, “RDIF and the Gamaleya Centre initiated the creation of the international scientific advisory board on the Sputnik V vaccine and the formation of an international platform where vaccine developers could exchange information, opinions and expertise with their leading foreign colleagues. This scientific exchange has been especially in demand due to the pandemic, a global problem that has stimulated the pooling of the entire global scientific and research potential.”
The RDIT said that Sputnik V has a number of key advantages as its efficacy is over 90 per cent with full protection against severe cases of Covid-19.
The Sputnik V vaccine is based on a proven and well-studied platform of human adenoviral vectors, which cause common cold and have been around for thousands of years.
Sputnik V uses two different vectors for the two shots in the course of vaccination, providing immunity with a longer duration than vaccines using the same delivery mechanism for both shots.
The safety, efficacy and lack of negative long-term effects of adenoviral vaccines have been proven by more than 250 clinical studies over two decades.
Over 1.5 million people have already been vaccinated with Sputnik V, the RDIF said. The developers of the Sputnik V vaccine are working collaboratively with AstraZeneca on a joint clinical trial to improve the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The Sputnik V vaccine has been approved in Russia, Belarus, Serbia, Argentina, Bolivia, Algeria, Palestine, Venezuela and Paraguay; the process to approve the vaccine in the EU has been initiated.
The RDIF said that there are no strong allergies caused by Sputnik V. The storage temperature of Sputnik V at 2-8 degree Celsius means it can be stored in a conventional refrigerator without any need to invest in additional cold-chain infrastructure.
The price of Sputnik V is less than $10 per shot, making it affordable around the world.