Azerbaijan allows trials of combination of Sputnik V, AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines

Azerbaijan has issued permission to conduct clinical trials of a combination of Sputnik V and AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines, the country’s Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

The clinical trials are planned to be launched by late February 2021.

Earlier, N.F. Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, AstraZeneca company, and R-Pharm group of companies with the participation of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, signed a joint memorandum in December 2020 on the production of a vaccine against coronavirus.

The world's first joint use of vaccines is carried out within a clinical trial protocol registered on December 24, 2020.

The trials are aimed at evaluating the immunogenicity and safety of the combined use of the Sputnik V vaccine and a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca in collaboration with the University of Oxford.

The trial program will last six months in several countries. It is planned to involve 100 volunteers from each country in the research.

About Sputnik V vaccine

The Sputnik V vaccine uses a unique technology to combine two different vectors envisaging a stronger and longer immune response than vaccines using the same two-injection vector based on the human adenovirus.

The scheme of using two different adenoviral vectors for the first and second immunization prevents the formation of immunity of the first vector after the first immunization, thus increasing the efficiency of the second injection and creating long-term immunity.

In particular, the effectiveness of the Sputnik V vaccine is more than 90 percent thanks to this scheme. Moreover, the vaccine ensures full protection against severe cases of the disease. Among the available coronavirus vaccines, only Sputnik V currently has two different vector technology.

About the AstraZeneca vaccine

The vaccine was developed by Vaccitech in collaboration with the University of Oxford. A replicating defective viral vector is used in the development of a weakened version of the common cold virus (adenovirus), which causes infection in chimpanzees.

The vaccine contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 protein (coronavirus 2 - a severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by type 2 coronavirus). After vaccination, surface protein synthesis occurs. This triggers an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 during a possible further infection with the virus.


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