AstraZeneca to test combination with Russian Covid-19 vaccine
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AstraZeneca to test combination with Russian Covid-19 vaccine

Credit: Belga

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca will try to combine its vaccine against Covid-19 with the Russian vaccine known as Sputnik-V in an attempt to boost the vaccine’s efficacy.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which it has developed together with the University of Oxford, is only around 70% efficient in protecting against the new coronavirus, while the Gamaleya Institute, which developed the Russian vaccine, has claimed that Sputnik-V is over 90% effective.

Further research will show whether a combination can increase efficacy. In that vain, clinical trials will start by the end of the year, according to Reuters.

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AstraZeneca’s decision to try and combine vaccines “is an important step towards uniting efforts in the fight against the pandemic,” said Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which sponsored Sputnik-V.

Earlier this week, the UK started vaccinating its population after its Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency was the first to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for use.

Sanofi and GSK, on the other hand, announced that their vaccine would not be ready before late 2021 as its vaccine has yielded unsatisfactory results in elderly patients so far.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times