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Factbox: Comments on initial study of Russia's COVID-19 vaccine

(Reuters) - Russia’s “Sputnik-V” COVID-19 vaccine produced an antibody response in all participants in early-stage trials, according to results published on Friday by The Lancet medical journal that were hailed by Moscow as an answer to its critics.

FILE PHOTO: A handout photo shows vials during the production of "Gam-COVID-Vac" vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), at Binnopharm pharmaceutical company in Zelenograd near Moscow, Russia August 7, 2020. Picture taken August 7, 2020. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)/Andrey Rudakov/Handout via REUTERS

Following are comments from experts on the results of the trials:

Brendan Wren, Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

“The data on the Russian vaccine studies reported in The Lancet are encouraging - demonstrating the safety and immunogenicity of the adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccines.

The results are unsurprising as the Oxford group have also shown similar adenovirus-based vaccines do not produce major side effects in humans and that immunological responses to the Spike protein are observed.

The report is a case of ‘so far so good’, but immunological responses may not necessarily evoke protection and further investigation is needed on the effectiveness of this vaccine for prevention of COVID-19.”

Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health, Britain’s University of Southampton:

“This manuscript confirms some of the public statements from a few weeks ago, namely that this appears to be a promising vaccine candidate.

At this stage, we do not know if the vaccine actually works – that is what the Phase 3 trials will tell us.

Public confidence in any licensed vaccine is vital, and suggestions from both Russia and the USA that a vaccine may be fast-tracked without the proper research having taken place are problematic.”

Editing by Keith Weir and Frances Kerry