Russia has today claimed its coronavirus vaccine is 92 per effective, which would make it better than the jab being developed by Pfizer.
Declaring early results just two days after the American pharmaceutical company, it said out of 20 infections recorded so far up to two were in people who had received a shot of the vaccine – dubbed Sputnik V.
The country’s Minister of Health, Mikhail Murashko, heralded the results as revealing Sputnik V’s is an ‘efficient solution to stop the spread of coronavirus’.
But scientists questioned the findings, warning there is ‘considerable uncertainty’ because of the small number of infections in the trial.
They also accused state officials of ‘mirroring’ the results of Pfizer, and one even said based on these early numbers the vaccine may only be 60 per cent effective.
Pfizer revealed on Monday results suggest its jab was 90 per cent effective, after it confirmed 94 infections including up to eight in volunteers who got the vaccine.
Any number above 60 per cent for a vaccine is a major breakthrough, as it means it could trigger ‘herd immunity’ in a population.
This is when enough people have immunity from a virus that it is unable to spread through a community and infect and hospitalise those who are most at risk, reducing the need for lockdowns or emergency bolstering of health services.
Russia revealed the claimed high efficacy of its vaccine in a press release, exactly like Pfizer, meaning scientists are not able to double-check their results.