COVID-19 Crisis: Sputnik M vaccine for adolescents (aged 12 to 17) authorized for use in Kazakhstan

Here in the Philippines, the vaccination of minors specifically aged 12 to 17-years-old has been going on for some time now while the vaccination of younger minors aged 5 to 11-years-old is gradually increasing. My concern is that Pfizer’s flawed COVID-19 vaccine has been used mainly on minors aged 5 to 17 (for references, click here and here) as it has been proven that the said vaccine – which uses mRNA technology – provides patients very weak protection from the infectious Omicron variant. The other vaccine used for minors aged 12-17 is Moderna which happens to also be an mRNA vaccine. The more Pfizer vaccines is used in the country, the more concerning it becomes.

Over there in Kazakhstan, it has been announced officially that Sputnik M – a COVID-19 vaccine for patients aged 12 to 17-years-old – has been authorized by the nation’s Health Ministry for use on their adolescents.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the official press release  published by SputnikVaccine.com Some parts in boldface…

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) today announced that the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan has authorized the use of Sputnik M Russian vaccine for adolescents aged 12-17.

Thus Kazakhstan has become the first country outside Russia to authorize the use of Sputnik M.

In contrast with some international producers offering their vaccines in the same dosage for both adults and adolescents, the Gamaleya Center has developed Sputnik M specifically for adolescents.

Sputnik M is a two-shot vaccine based on the same human adenoviral vectors platform, which is safe and has been widely studied for over 30 years. The only difference between Sputnik M and Sputnik V is a lower concentration of viral particles per dose: Sputnik M for adolescents has 5 times less concentration in comparison with the original Sputnik V in both shots.

Russian Ministry of Health registered Sputnik M on November 24, 2021 based on data from clinical trials confirming the high safety and immunogenicity profile of Sputnik M among adolescents. During the trials there were no serious adverse events registered following vaccination with Sputnik M. Current results are corresponding with those obtained during clinical trials and real-world data on Sputnik V after vaccinating adults.

Sputnik V has been authorized in 71 country with total population of over 4 billion people. It induces stronger and longer lasting immune response against COVID (including the Omicron variant) than many other vaccines, which is further strengthened by Sputnik Light booster. A unique comparative study[1] conducted at Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Italy by a team of 12 Italian and 9 Russian scientists has shown that Sputnik V vaccine demonstrates more than 2 times higher titers of virus neutralizing antibodies to Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant than 2 doses of Pfizer vaccine (2.1 times higher in total and 2.6 times higher 3 months after vaccination).

The study was conducted in the equal laboratory conditions on comparable sera samples from individuals vaccinated with Sputnik V and Pfizer with a similar level of IgG antibodies and virus neutralizing activity (VNA) against Wuhan variant. Sputnik V showed significantly smaller (2.6 times) reduction of virus neutralizing activity against Omicron as compared to reference Wuhan variant than Pfizer vaccine (8.1-fold reduction for Sputnik V in contrast to 21.4-fold reduction for Pfizer vaccine).

It should be remembered that a study in Italy confirmed that Sputnik V provides strong resistance against the Omicron variant and that is reassuring because Sputnik M is derived from Sputnik V. If only the government here in the Philippines would make the right decision to acquire more Sputnik vaccines and immunizing as many Filipinos with them. Right now, the Omicron variant does seem to be bothering Filipinos and in recent times the daily count of new COVID-19 infections nationwide has fallen down significantly.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this newest development? Are you convinced that the national government as well as local government units (LGUs) should seriously consider acquiring more doses of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines to really immunize as many Filipinos as possible as part of the effort to lift the country up from this pandemic? Don’t you feel concerned about the Pfizer vaccine’s weak protection from the Omicron variant?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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