3 hours agoAuthor: Ravindra Bhajani

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the Phase-3 bridging trials of Sputnik Lite, a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. These trials can be completed in a couple of months, which is expected to allow the installation of Sputnik lights in October. This vaccine will initially be available in limited quantities. Its price will be Rs 750.

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) has said that Dr Reddy’s Laboratory, Hyderabad, a partner of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), had sought permission for Phase-3 trials of the vaccine. The company has submitted safety, immunogenicity and efficacy data regarding the vaccine. After this, the SEC has allowed him to conduct bridging trials.

Earlier, the government had given emergency approval to the Russian vaccine Sputnik V on 12 April. This vaccine is being implemented in more than 65 countries including India. In India, it was introduced to the general public through private hospitals in May.

Let us know what is the difference between Sputnik V and Sputnik Lite? How effective is it compared to other vaccines available in the country?

What is Sputnik Light?

  • Sputnik Lite is not a new vaccine, but the first dose of two doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. Actually, different viral vectors have been used in both doses of Sputnik V.
  • In Russia, it was seen how effective the first dose of Sputnik V was. For this, data was collected 28 days after the first dose under Russia’s vaccination program between 5 December 2020 and 15 April 2021. On its analysis, the effectiveness of a single dose was found to be 79.4%. This is called Sputnik Light. Russia approved this vaccine in May.
  • The special thing is that Coveshield and Covaxin are two-dose vaccines being implemented in India. What’s more, the effectiveness is less than 80% even after both doses. If we look at the data of lab studies and trials, the first dose of Sputnik V i.e. Sputnik Light has proved to be more effective than this.
  • Last week, Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine also got emergency approval. It is also based on human adenovirus serotype number 26 (rAd26), from which Sputnik Light is also made. There have been large-scale trials of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine and it has been approved by the US, Europe and WHO.

What are the benefits of Sputnik Light?

  • It is a single dose vaccine. That is, no one will have to wait for the second dose. At present, 31% of the population in India has received at least one dose. At the same time, about 8% of the population has been fully vaccinated. That is, it has taken both doses. If Sputnik light becomes available, the percentage of the fully vaccinated population will increase rapidly.
  • The efficiency of Sputnik Light is 79.4%. In 100% of people who received the vaccine, antibodies increased up to 40-fold after 10 days. Similarly, the immune response against the S-protein of the corona virus developed in all those who got the vaccine.
  • Sputnik Light can be stored at 2 to 8 degree temperature. This will make it easier to transport. This vaccine is also effective on people who have had corona infection before. RDIF claims that this vaccine can fight all the variants.
  • After installing Sputnik Light, the risk of serious effects of corona will be reduced. In most cases, the patient will not need to be hospitalized. RDIF says that the results of the study of vaccine mixing in many countries are also encouraging. On this basis, it can be said that Sputnik Lite can also be mixed with other vaccines.

How different is Sputnik Light from Sputnik V?

  • See, there is no difference. If you are getting Sputnik V, then the effect that will show in the first dose will be the same as the effect of Sputnik Light. Sputnik V and Sputnik Light have been jointly developed by Moscow’s Gamalya Institute and the Russian Development Investment Fund (RDIF).
  • When Russia approved Sputnik V on 11 August 2020, it became the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine is made on the human adenoviral vector platform. In May, Russian officials said the vaccine showed 97.6% effectiveness in real-world data from 3.8 million people. The medical journal Lancet has also reported Sputnik V to be 91.6% effective.
  • When you talk about Sputnik Light, Phase-3 clinical trials were conducted on 7 thousand people in Russia, United Arab Emirates, Ghana and other countries. The Gamalea Center claims that this vaccine is effective on all variants of Corona.

Is single dose vaccine enough?

  • Yes. The effectiveness of the single-dose Sputnik Lite vaccine is higher than that of many two-dose vaccines. With this, it can help to vaccinate a large population faster. Experts say that the single-dose vaccine can help vaccinate more and more people quickly. More clinical data will be needed to know how effective it is in the long term.
  • Country’s top virologist Dr. Gagandeep Kang says that there is no problem if a single-dose vaccine is approved with strong efficacy data. This will prove helpful in vaccinating more and more people. For the long-term effectiveness of a single dose vaccine, we have to see its results in the real world.
  • As far as Sputnik V is concerned, it is one of three vaccines in the world that has proved to be more than 90% effective. The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have claimed up to 95% effectiveness.
  • In December 2020, Russia released Sputnik V for public use. It remained the main vaccine in Russia. Sputnik Light sent to other countries. This vaccine is being implemented in more than 60 countries.

How different is Sputnik Light from CoveShield and Covaxin?

  • Sputnik V is built on the Human Adenoviral Vector Platform. At the same time, Oxford University and AstraZeneca have also made a viral vector vaccine, which is being made in India by the Serum Institute of India under the name CoveShield. Covaxin has been developed by Bharat Biotech as an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine.
  • These three vaccines are two-dose. In comparison, Sputnik Lite is a single dose vaccine. In terms of efficacy, Sputnik V approved in India is 91.6%, Coveshield 62%-90%, Covaxin 78%, Johnson & Johnson 66% and Moderna 95% effective.

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