The Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology (Gamaleya Center) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) yesterday 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 two doses of Sputnik V provide more than two times higher Geometric Mean Titers (GMT) of virus-neutralising antibodies to the Omicron variant of COVID than two doses of Pfizer vaccine (2.1 times higher in total and 2.6 times higher three months after vaccination), RDIF said in a statement.
It further said that 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 neutralising activity against Wuhan variant. An article by a team of 12 Italian and nine Russian scientists led by Francesco Vaia, Director, Spallanzani Institute, and Alexander Gintsburg, Director, Gamaleya Center, has been published in medRxiv.
Based on the data collected by the Spallanzani Institute and the 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, the statement added.
It also informed that 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.
The study in the US among those aged over 65 years demonstrated the decrease in mRNA vaccine effectiveness against Delta accelerated after month four, reaching a low of approximately 20 per cent in months five through seven. According to Swedish data, the Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy against Delta strain is falling to below 30 per cent after six months. 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 per cent within 10 weeks.
The statement also quoted Kirill Dmitriev, CEO, RDIF, as saying that results of the study in Italy confirm Sputnik V offers the strongest protection against Omicron. The adenoviral platform has shown high efficacy in fighting mutations of COVID previously. The partnership of different platforms is the key and heterologous (mix & match) boosting with Sputnik Light will help strengthen the efficacy of other vaccines in light of combined Delta and Omicron challenge.