Sputnik V demonstrates strong protection against Omicron variant, study reveals
A unique comparative study conducted at the Italian Spallanzani Institute has revealed that Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine “demonstrates” greater protection towards the omicron variant of COVID-19. The study was conducted by a joint Italian-Russian team of researchers representing the Institute and the Gamaleya Center. The Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology (Gamaleya Center) announced on Wednesday that the Vaccines, a peer-reviewed medical journal, has published the results of the study.
The study shows that 2 doses of Sputnik V provide 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).
According to the study’s findings, the Sputnik vaccine provides for eliciting high titers of virus neutralizing antibodies to the Omicron variant. Fast-spreading Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 are currently causing surges of coronavirus cases in the United States, South Africa and 70 other countries.
The scientists revealed that 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. As a matter of fact the Pfizer vaccine utilizes the spike protein in a proline-stabilized form in contrast to Sputnik V. 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,” scientists said in a press statement on Wednesday.
The Spallanzani Institute and results of previous studies also found that the 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.
According to the scientists, 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. Moreover, Sputnik Light has already shown strong results as a booster in “mix & match” trials in Argentina.
The scientists also found that a combination of Sputnik Light with vaccines produced by AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Moderna and Cansino, conducted in five 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.
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, the scientists found.
Meanwhile, 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.
Sputnik V has been authorised in 71 countries with a total population of over 4 billion people, and Sputnik Light in more than 30 countries as a COVID-19 vaccine. According to the vaccine-maker, Sputnik V and Sputnik Light have been developed using a safe technology that has been widely studied for over 30 years and have not been associated with rare serious side effects such as myocarditis or pericarditis.