Russia on Wednesday said that its vaccine Sputnik V is 92 per cent effective at protecting people from COVID-19 according to the first interim analysis.

“The Sputnik V vaccine efficacy amounted to 92 per cent (calculation based on the 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases split between vaccinated individuals and those who received the placebo),” the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said in a statement read. Currently, Sputnik V phase III clinical trials are approved and are undergoing in Belarus, the UAE, Venezuela and other countries. In India, phase II-III trails of the vaccine are underway.

Currently, 40,000 volunteers are taking part in double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled Phase III of Sputnik V clinical trials, out of which over 20,000 have been vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine and more than 16,000 with both the first and second doses of the vaccine.

Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said: “The use of the vaccine and the results of clinical trials demonstrate that it is an efficient solution to stop the spread of coronavirus infection, a preventive healthcare tool, and this is the most successful path to defeat the pandemic.”

The efficacy was demonstrated on the basis of a first interim analysis obtained 21 days after the first injection. There were no unexpected adverse events during the trials and monitoring of the participants is ongoing.

The announcement by Russia comes days after drug giant American Pfizer announced that its coronavirus vaccine was more than 90 per cent effective at protecting people from infection as compared to placebo saline shot, as per an analysis.

Russia became the first country to register the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine on August 11. Sputnik V was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry.

The company said that the Gamaleya Centre team will publish the interim research data in one of the leading international peer-reviewed medical journals.