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The Sputnik V vaccine

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The Sputnik V vaccine

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Sputnik V, a COVID-19 vaccine, was approved by the Drugs Controller General of India for its Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA). Read the article below.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Raveendran S R

Published At April 22, 2021
Reviewed AtFebruary 28, 2023


Sputnik V, the vaccine against COVID-19, was created in Russia by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. Sputnik V vaccine is also called as Gam-COVID-Vac. The vaccine uses two different viruses, adenovirus 26 (Ad26) and adenovirus 5 (Ad5). It follows a heterologous recombinant adenovirus procedure. These two component-based adenoviruses help fight against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein and are administered three weeks apart. These are aimed at getting over any preceding adenoviruses, making them weak so they cannot cause the disease. Unlike the other approved COVID vaccines, the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine uses a different virus for both shots.

What Is Sputnik V Vaccine?

At the time when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic, the Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Russia, was working on a prototype of Sputnik V. The COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) is an adenoviral-based, two-dose vaccine that uses a non-potential virus to spread a small volume of pathogen thereby inducing an immune response in a quick time frame.

It is a vector-based vaccine that uses adenovirus stereotypes 5 and 26 as a vessel to deliver the coronavirus gene to our body, thereby making the body develop immunity against the virus. The antigen insert is an unmodified full-length S protein, and there is no tissue-type plasminogen. The HEK293 cell line is used for Sputnik V vaccine production. This vaccine was developed by the same laboratories that created an effective vaccine against Ebola (Zaire ebolavirus) and MERS virus (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and has an efficiency of 91.6 % based on three phases of trial with very minimal side effects.

What Are the Ingredients Used in the Sputnik V Vaccine?

The Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine does not contain any of the ingredients prohibited by the Gamaleya Center. This vaccine does not have any animal components. The ingredients used for the Sputnik V vaccine are:

  • Modified replication-defective adenovirus.

  • Tris-(hydroxymethyl)-aminomethane.

  • Sodium chloride.

  • Serotype 26 (for the first component).

  • Magnesium chloride hexahydrate.

  • Disodium EDTA dihydrate.

  • Serotype 5 (for the second component).

  • Polysorbate 80.

  • Sucrose.

  • Protein S-expressing gene.

  • Ethanol.

  • Water.

What Is Sputnik Light Vaccine?

The main aim of the lighter version of the Sputnik V Vaccine is that this vaccine avoids the two-component vaccine, which will be administered only once rather than two separate vaccinations (21 days apart). This reduces time and avoids multiple visits to the clinic. It produces immunity after a week, and an increase in immunity is visible after four weeks of vaccination. Sputnik Light is also built on the same special structure as in Sputnik V and does not contain the coronavirus and hence avoids the possibility of falling ill or spreading the virus.

Is Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine Safe?

An open and non-randomized trial on 76 people was conducted in two phases: phase I and phase II. The result showed that all the participants developed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. There were no serious events as a side effect, but 50% of the participants had small irritations like pain in the area of injection. Phase III trial consisted of 22,000 adults who were above 18 years of age across 25 different hospitals in Moscow. The phase III trial of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine has given a constant forceful shielding impact throughout all age categories. Every participant received two doses of the vaccine at a 21-day interval, and the result of the study showed 91.6% effectiveness. In between the two doses, no cases of COVID-19 were reported in the vaccinated group, and the reported side effects were very mild and non-adverse.

What Countries Are Using Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine?

Russia was the first to approve this vaccine and promoted it beyond the borders. It also got approved for emergency use in India. Total production of 1.4 billion doses of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine has been manufactured as it has been contracted in more than ten countries all over the world, says the Russian direct investment fund. At that time, 29 countries were given emergency approval to use the Sputnik V vaccine apart from Russia. The European Medical Agency said that it started to study the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. According to various reports, the Sputnik V vaccine has been introduced in Argentinaand Montenegro.

Sputnik V Vaccine is authorized and administered in the following countries - Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Congo, Egypt, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Maldives, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Palestine, Paraguay, Republic of Guinea, Republika Srpska, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Syria, The Kingdom of Morocco, The Philippines, The Republic of Djibouti, The Republic of Iraq, The Republic of Panama, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

Based on the trial studies in Argentina, a combination of the Sputnik Light vaccine with vaccines by Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, and Moderna demonstrated a high safety profile with no serious adverse effects.

What Are the Indications of the Sputnik V Vaccine?

Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine is administered to healthy age groups first. The vaccine is used in people between 18 to 60 years of age. The first priority access to vaccines is doctors, health care workers, teachers, etc. Research is still being carried out to vaccinate younger and older age groups. The Russian COVID-19 vaccine trials indicate that the vaccine builds immunity against the disease-causing virus. But still, an indication regarding younger individuals, oncology, and pregnancy vaccine efficiency is yet to be reported as their WBCs, and infection-fighting antibodies are at a lower level of defense. According to the manufacturer, pregnant women can get the vaccine if the benefits outweigh the risks.

What Are the Requirements for the Sputnik V Vaccine?

Sputnik V vaccine makes distribution and storage easier. The preparation manual says that there is a possibility to store the temperature of the household fridge. It is very easy to be transported and distribute as it is available in a lyophilized (dry) form. Sputnik V vaccine requires a simple storage requirement as it does not want to be invested in additional cold-chain infrastructure. It can be stored at -18° Celsius in its liquid form and 2 to 8 degree Celsius in its freeze-dried form. It can be shipped at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius for two months, but the Russian Healthcare Ministry that developed this vaccine says that there are plans and hope to extend the storage of this vaccine to six months.

How Is the Dosage Given?

During the research, common cold viruses were used as a prototype, and they chose two different adenovirus vectors (rAd5 and rAd26) to be delivered in two shots. The individuals were given the first dose, known as the "prime dose" (rAd26), followed by a "booster dose" (rAd5-S), which is given after 21 days. These adenoviruses were combined with SARS-CoV-2 protein, and hence they were administered in 2 doses at 21 days apart, which makes the body develop an immune response against the virus and develop antibodies. Reports say that the usage of different adenovirus helps to create a powerful immune response and minimizes the risk.

What Is the Efficacy of the Sputnik V Vaccine?

Sputnik V vaccineuses two different vectors for each of the two shots in vaccination, which provides a higher vaccine efficacy. Russian scientists say that the phase 3 trial of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine has given a constant forceful shielding impact throughout all age categories. In phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials, it included 38 participants in each study, and it studied safety, immunogenicity, and tolerability. In the phase 3 clinical trial, over 18,000 participants received both vaccine doses at a three-week interval, claiming 91.6 % of efficacy. A new study says that the Sputnik V vaccine is also effective against the embodiment of the B.1.1.7 and the B.1.351 variants. It also says that the Sputnik V vaccine shows 70 % efficacy against the Delta variant during the first three months after the vaccination.

What Are the Side Effects of the Sputnik V Vaccine?

The side effects of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine are,

  • Redness at the site of the injection (seen in 15 % of the population).

  • Dizziness.

  • Mild headache within 24 hours of vaccination.

  • Breathing difficulties.

  • Muscle weakness.

  • Fever.

  • High blood pressure.

  • Convulsions.

  • Swelling in the vaccinated area.

The Gamaleya Center announced that the Sputnik V vaccine does not show any cerebral venous sinus thrombosis cases. Studies say that there were four deaths that occurred shortly after taking the Sputnik V vaccine in Russia. Three of them were women of ages 51, 69, and 74, and the death was related to blood sugar, heart, and lung. It might or might not be associated with the Sputnik V vaccine.


Sputnik V vaccine helps fight against the coronavirus, as it tries to infect the body, leading to serious life-threatening signs and symptoms. This vaccine provides immunity for a longer duration than the vaccines, following the same delivery mechanism for both doses. Thus, India has approved this vaccine, and Indian companies, such as Gland Pharma, Dr. Reddy's laboratory, Hetero Biopharma, Virchow Biotech, Panacea Biotec, and Stelis Biopharma, the biopharmaceutical arm of the Bengaluru-headquartered Strides Pharma Science, have partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

Even though people get vaccinated, it is important to follow the COVID-19 safety rules such as wearing masks, the social distancing of one meter, frequently washing hands, avoiding frequent outings, and avoiding frequent contact of hands on the eyes and face. So by vaccinating and following these COVID safety precautions, people can beat this pandemic.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Theory of Sputnik Vaccine Based On?

Sputnik vaccine is a vector-based vaccine that uses adenoviruses of stereotypes 5 and 26 to deliver the gene of coronavirus into the body, thus making it immune against the virus.


Which Type of Vaccine Is Sputnik DNA or RNA?

Sputnik vaccine is a vector-based DNA vaccine containing the DNA of adenovirus in which the SARS - CoV - 2 viral genes is incorporated. The adenovirus acts as a carrier in delivering this into the body.


Is Sputnik a Safe and Efficient Vaccine?

Yes, Sputnik is efficient as it uses two different vectors in two different vaccine shots, thus making it more prone to be effective. Under the clinical trials done, it proves to be 91.6 % effective.


Which Are the Countries Sputnik Is Banned?

Sputnik is a Russian vaccine not approved for use in Canada, China, Japan, South Africa, the United States of America, and European countries.


Is Sputnik Effective Against Omicron?

With a three-course dosage of Sputnik v, and Sputnik light, the efficacy of the vaccination is at its best and neutralizes omicron effectively up to 97 to 99.4 %.


Is Sputnik Approved in India and the UAE?

Yes, the Sputnik vaccine is approved by most countries in the world, including India, UAE, Bangladesh, Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, Kenya, Maldives, etc.


Which Is the Best COVID Vaccine Against All the Variants?

The best drugs for covid are produced by Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination called, Comirnaty is very effective up to 95 % (percent) and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is then followed by Moderna and Novavax.


What Is Level 4 COVID?

Level 4 covid indicates a very high and aggressive covid outbreak where the range is around 40 cases in one million per day, with a constant rise in the rates and very low availability of health care (less than 20 percent ).


Is Vaccination Proof Required for the Delta Variant?

Yes, vaccination proof is required for the covid delta variant, as covid vaccination is very effective against this variant, and it is necessary for travelers traveling from one country to another to keep track of it.
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Dr. Raveendran S R
Dr. Raveendran S R



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