COVID-19 Crisis: RDIF and Gamaleya point to Italy study confirming Sputnik V vaccine provides strong protection against Omicron variant

With the whole world continues to struggle hard with COVID-19 problems as well as the highly infectious Omicron variant, a recent study conducted in Italy by the Spallanzani Institute confirmed what was determined by other studies before – Sputnik V provides strong protection against the Omicron variant. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Gamaleya highlighted the newest study at the Sputnik Vaccine website very recently as well as other notable updates and detailed references.

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

The Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology (Gamaleya Center) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, investor in Sputnik V and Sputnik Light coronavirus vaccines), today announced a unique independent comparative study conducted at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani (Italy) by a joint team of researchers of the Institute and the Gamaleya Center showing that 2 doses of Sputnik V provide more than 2 times higher geometric mean titers (GMT) of virus neutralizing antibodies to the Omicron variant of COVID than 2 doses of Pfizer vaccine (2.1 times higher in total and 2.6 times higher 3 months after vaccination).

An article by a team of 12 Italian and 9 Russian scientists led by Francesco Vaia, Director of the Spallanzani Institute and Alexander Gintsburg, Director of the Gamaleya Center, has been published in medRxiv (the preprint server for health sciences) and is available at:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.01.15.22269335v1 

The study was conducted in Spallanzani Institute in the equal laboratory conditions at the Italian Spallanzani Institute on comparable groups of sera from individuals vaccinated with Sputnik V and Pfizer, with no statistically significant difference in neutralizing activity against Wuhan variant.The advantages of Sputnik V are the use of native S glycoprotein (spike protein without proline-stabilization and other modifications) and the use of a heterologous prime-boost vaccination regimen. The Pfizer vaccine utilizes the spike protein in a proline-stabilized form in contrast to Sputnik V. Proline-stabilization and other modifications may move an immune response predominantly to the actively mutating receptor-binding domain (RBD) of spike protein. In the Omicron variant, a substantial number of mutations were registered precisely in RBD, which is why such a significant drop in neutralizing activity against this variant may be observed in the sera of Pfizer-vaccinated.

Boosting with Sputnik Light as part of the “mix & match” approach may help address the lower efficacy of mRNA vaccines against Omicron as well as the documented, quickly waning, efficacy of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. Partnerships between adenoviral and mRNA vaccines could provide for stronger protection against Omicron and other variants.

Based on the data collected by the Spallanzani Institute and results of previous studies, heterologous (“mix & match”) boosting with Sputnik Light is the best solution to increase other vaccines’ efficacy and extend the booster protection period as optimal adenoviral platform configuration provides better protection against Omicron and other mutations:

a. Sputnik Light as a booster significantly increases virus neutralizing activity against Omicron, which is comparable to titers observed after Sputnik V against wild-type virus, associated with high levels of protection. The study results were summarized in an article available at:

www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.17.21267976v1

b. Sputnik Light has already shown strong results as a booster in “mix & match” trials in Argentina. A combination of Sputnik Light with vaccines produced by AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Moderna and Cansino, conducted in 5 provinces (City and Province of Buenos Aires, as well as Córdoba, La Rioja and San Luis) has demonstrated that Sputnik Light induces stronger antibody and T-cell response as compared to a homologous regimen (two shots of the same vaccine). Each “vaccine cocktail” combination with Sputnik Light provided higher antibody titer on the 14th day after administering a second dose when compared to original homologous (same vaccine as first and second dose) regimens of each of the vaccines.

c. As duration of vaccine protection is key to avoid frequent boosting, authors of another study in Argentina have noted that protection against coronavirus remains stable following vaccination with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine as a consequence of antibody maturation, resulting in improved potency of antibodies to viral escape mutations:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.22.21262186v1

d. The study conducted by a number of highly respected institutes in the US (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and University of North Carolina) demonstrated that boosting Pfizer vaсcine with Ad26 vector produces optimal durable protection against Omicron with 4 times higher increase in Omicron-specific T-cells and 2.4 times in neutralizing antibody titers vs Pfizer booster. Sputnik Light is based on Ad26 vector and is the universal booster for other vaccines vs all mutations:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.02.21267198v2

e. US study on 168 mln people showed that one-shot COVID vaccine based on Ad26 is superior against infections and hospitalizations to quickly waning two-shot mRNA vaccines. In the 6th month after vaccination, Pfizer protection against hospitalization waned 4 times, while there was no evidence of waning protection against hospitalization for Ad26 vector:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.01.05.22268648v1

f. Another study conducted on almost 500,000 health care workers in South Africa demonstrated 85% efficacy of Ad26 booster against hospitalization caused by Omicron variant:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.28.21268436v1.full-text

Partnership among vaccine manufacturers through heterologous (“mix & match”) boosting by other vaccines is needed to address the quickly waning efficacy of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, which was documented in multiple studies:

a. The study in US among 65+ years old population demonstrated the decrease in mRNA vaccine effectiveness against Delta accelerated after month 4, reaching a low of approximately 20% in months 5 through 7:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2787183

b. According to Swedish data, the Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy against Delta strain is falling to below 30% after 6 months:

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3949410

c. The UK Health Security Agency said those who had received three doses of Pfizer’s vaccine saw their protection against symptomatic illness caused by Omicron variant drop to 45% within 10 weeks:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/investigation-of-sars-cov-2-variants-technical-briefings

Alexander Gintsburg, Director of the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, said:

“The joint study by the Gamaleya Center and Spallanzani Institute confirmed the results obtained in our separate study published in December 2021. The hard scientific data proves Sputnik V has higher virus neutralizing activity against Omicron as compared to other vaccines and will play a major role in the global fight against this new contagious variant.”

Denis Logunov, Deputy Director of the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, noted:

“The Spallanzani Institute is one of the leading European research centers and our joint study provided a unique opportunity for independent analysis of different vaccine platforms against Omicron. Adenoviral vector platform in the core of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines once again proved to be the best solution in creating strong and durable immunity against COVID and its new variants.”

That was a huge load of information above. While the excerpt is long, I urge you all to read still read the full press release online which itself has some visual presentation of statistics and studies. For insight, read my previous Sputnik-Omicron article. As for my native Philippines, I hope that the government officials have been paying close attention to these press releases and other global studies related to Sputnik vaccines. I also hope the national authorities will acquire a lot more Sputnik vaccines to really protect Filipinos from the Omicron variant which itself caused the deaths of two people here.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you have been vaccinated with a Sputnik V vaccine or the one-shot Sputnik Light vaccine, does this latest, highly detailed press release make you confident with what you have been injected with? If you have been vaccinated with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, are you convinced that the mRNA technology is flawed with regards to providing you protection against the coronvirus and its variants? 

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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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

COVID-19 Crisis: Around 100 million vaccine doses in stock for the entire Philippines according to Galvez

Recently vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr., stated that the Philippines has more or less one hundred million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in stock, according to a Manila Bulletin news report. What is clearly lacking, however, is the specific brands for the current vaccine stockpile.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin report. Some parts in boldface…

More or less 100 million doses of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are still in the government’s stockpile and will be used to vaccinate some 28 million to 30 million Filipinos who remain unvaccinated.

Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr., vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, said the remaining doses are also enough for the booster shots of 25 million Filipinos.

“Mayroon po tayong babakunahan pa na primary series o ‘yung unang bakuna sa 28-30 million na katao (We have 28 to 30 million people who are on our primary list or those who are yet to receive the vaccines,” said Galvez.

“Though ‘yung 100 million doses na nasa stockpile po natin ay sapat sa remaining primary series ng unvaccinated at para sa 25 million na eligible ngayong quarter for boosters (The 100 million doses in our stockpile are enough for the remaining primary series of unvaccinated and for the 25 million who are eligible for booster this (first) quarter),” he added.

As of January 10, a total of 114,263,805 vaccine doses have been administered nationwide. Of this number, 52,856,932 individuals are already fully vaccinated.

The vaccination and booster shots that are being eyed to be completed with the first quarter of this year (January to March) is part of the first milestone of the NTF Against COVID-19.

Galvez said they are also eyeing the completion of its target of vaccinating 90 million by the end of the second quarter.

As seen in the above article, there was no breakdown as to what brands of vaccines are part of the current national supply. As it is believed that the Omicron variant is the cause behind the current COVID-19 surge around the country, the national authorities as well as the local government units (LGUs) should seriously consider acquiring a lot more Sputnik vaccines (for more on Sputnik vaccines effectiveness against Omicron variant, click here and here) to really help entire nation. It’s high time for the Philippines to negotiate with their Russian counterparts for more Sputnik vaccines. Take note that the nation of Tunisia approved the use of the single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine as their universal booster.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you think that the current supply of COVID-19 vaccines for the entire Philippines will be fully used by the end of June 2022? Are you very conscious about what brands of vaccines the government keeps on ordering and receiving? Are there people in your local community who remain unvaccinated because of phobia towards vaccines or needles?

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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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

COVID-19 Crisis: Philippines should have more Sputnik vaccines to combat Omicron variant

While it is nice to know that my native Philippines has secured over two hundred million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and the vaccination operations around the country include the issuance of booster shots, I honestly believe that more Sputnik vaccines (Sputnik V, Sputnik Light and the upcoming new Sputnik vaccine designed with Omicron in mind) are needed in the country and more of them should be secured especially since the Omicron variant is infecting more people locally.

In 2021, the Philippines received millions of Sputnik V vaccines but too little of the single-dose Sputnik Light. Good thing that the Philippines will negotiate for more Sputnik Light vaccines because in recent news, Sputnik Light has been approved in Tunisia as a universal booster!

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

Moscow, December 29, 2021 – The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) announces the approval of the Russian one-shot Sputnik Light vaccine against coronavirus as a universal booster shot by Tunisia’s Ministry of Health.

Sputnik Light is based on recombinant human adenovirus serotype number 26 (the first component of Sputnik V). A one-shot vaccination regimen of Sputnik Light provides for ease of administration and helps to increase efficacy and duration of other vaccines when used as a booster shot. Sputnik Light has already been authorized in more than 30 countries.

Clinical studies and the real-world data in many countries have demonstrated that Sputnik Light is a safe and effective vaccine when used both on a standalone basis and as a booster.

A study in Argentina on heterogeneous regimens combining Sputnik Light and vaccines produced by AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Moderna and Cansino has demonstrated that Sputnik Light is an effective universal booster. Each “vaccine cocktail” combination with Sputnik Light provided higher antibody titer on 14th day after administering the second dose as compared to original homogenous (same vaccine as first and second dose) regimens of each of the vaccines.

A preliminary study of the Gamaleya Center has found Sputnik Light significantly increases virus neutralizing activity against Omicron based on sera 2-3 months after revaccination with 100% of individuals revaccinated with Sputnik Light as a booster having developed neutralizing antibodies against this variant. Sputnik Light booster is recommended to strengthen efficacy of vaccines against Omicron. Boosting by Sputnik Light can strengthen and lengthen the quickly waning efficacy of many vaccines in light of combined Delta and Omicron challenge.

Sputnik Light efficacy data:

  • Sputnik Light has been proven to be safe and highly effective by real-world vaccination data. In particular, data from the Ministry of Health of Buenos Aires (Argentina) has demonstrated standalone efficacy of Sputnik Light between 78.6-83.7% among the elderly (over 40,000 people of 60-79 years old), which is higher than that of many two-dose vaccines.
  • Findings by the Gamaleya Center based on data collected in Moscow have demonstrated Sputnik Light vaccine administered standalone has 70% efficacy against infection from the Delta variant of coronavirus during the first three months after vaccination. The vaccine is 75% effective among subjects under the age of 60. Sputnik V and Sputnik Light are based on a safe and effective human adenoviral vector platform and have not been associated with rare serious adverse events following vaccination, such as myocarditis or pericarditis.

Previously, it has been declared that Sputnik V and Sputnik Light are highly effective against the Omicron variant (referencing an article published in Vaccines medical journal and international real-world data from numerous countries) and Gamaleya itself conducted a preliminary study confirming the findings.

As for the Omicron variant situation here in the Philippines, Sputnik vaccines would be more crucial for public health especially since there are many Filipinos who have been vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine which according to a recent study was found to be weaker versus Omicron. Once the Sinovac protection has faded away, there is the potential of a wave of new COVID-19 infections caused by the Omicron variant. Right now, we can only hope that the Philippines is negotiating with their counterparts in Russia to acquire many millions of new doses of Sputnik V, Sputnik Light and the upcoming new Sputnik (designed with Omicron in mind).

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Have you been vaccinated previously with Sputnik V or Sputnik Light? If you were fully vaccinated with Sinovac, do you prefer a Sputnik vaccine to be your booster shot?

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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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/