Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, is 91.6 per cent effective, according to a study published Thursday in The Lancet magazine.
The Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, named after the first artificial Earth satellite launched by the Soviet Union, was approved by Russia several months before the end of the final phase of clinical trials and was therefore met with great scepticism by some experts.
However, the results of Phase 3 clinical trials show that after two doses of the vaccine, its effectiveness is over 90 per cent.
“The makers of the Sputnik V vaccine have been criticized for inappropriately rushing and lacking transparency,” said Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading, and Polly Roy, professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
“However, the results published here are transparent, proving the scientific principle of vaccination, which means another vaccine may join the fight to reduce COVID-19 cases,” the statement reads.
Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed cooperation in the field of vaccine supplies to the European Union, the EU’s common policy towards Russia and support for Belarus. The talks also emphasized the importance of implementing the EU’s multi-annual budget and the European economic recovery plan.
“I thanked the Chancellor for her personal contribution to the development of diplomatic relations with Lithuania and for Germany’s contribution to strengthening the unity of the European Union during the pandemic. Lithuania is interested in close cooperation between the Member States and the institutions of the European Union in the area of purchasing vaccines and coordinated actions to stop the spread of the virus mutation,” stressed the Prime Minister.
According to the Prime Minister, it is necessary to further encourage pharmaceutical companies to ensure transparent and reliable supplies of vaccines to the Member States.
Jurgita Šiugždinienė, the minister of education, science and sport, believes that in some municipalities it would be possible to open primary schools earlier. She also announced that vaccinations for kindergarten and primary school teachers would be completed by the end of February.
“In municipalities where the epidemiological situation is better than in other regions, it is possible to allow primary school students to return to school earlier than in the rest of the country,” says Minister J. Šiugždinienė.
“We are talking about bubbles, we still need an expert opinion, but I think this is an option. There may be equality of opportunity concerns, but my main goal is to get the children back to school as soon as possible,” the minister told LRT radio on February 2.
J. Šiugždinienė previously stated that she was convinced that primary school students could return to school at the end of February, immediately after the winter break, but only if the incidence of COVID-19 does not exceed 200 cases per 100,000 residents, and the percentage of positive tests will be less than 10 per cent.
According to the minister, if in some municipalities this indicator is achieved earlier, it will be possible to consider an earlier return of students to primary schools.