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Report of High Sputnik V Efficacy

A new study indicates Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is safe and effective against COVID-19, the Associated Press reports.

Russia approved the vaccine in August, which raised concerns as there was at the time limited data on its safety or efficacy. Initial testing then indicated the candidate vaccine could generate an immune response and then that it could have a high efficacy rate. Researchers from the Gamaleya Institute, which is developing the vaccine, announced in November that the Sputnik V vaccine had an efficacy rate of more than 95 percent. The vaccine includes two adenoviruses carrying the viral spike protein gene, given 21 days apart. 

In a new study posted as preprint at the Lancet, Gamaleya researchers now present interim results from their Phase 3 trial of nearly 22,000 people, about 16,000 of whom received the candidate vaccine and about 5,500 of whom received placebo. Overall, the researchers report the vaccine has a 91.6 percent efficacy rate against COVID-19.

"The development of the Sputnik V vaccine has been criticized for unseemly haste, corner cutting, and an absence of transparency," the University of Reading's Ian Jones and Polly Roy from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine write in a related commentary at the Lancet. "But the outcome reported here is clear and the scientific principle of vaccination is demonstrated, which means another vaccine can now join the fight to reduce the incidence of COVID-19."

The Scan

CDC Calls Delta "Variant of Concern"

CNN reports the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 to be a "variant of concern."

From FDA to Venture Capital

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is taking a position at a venture capital firm, leading some ethicists to raise eyebrows, according to the Washington Post.

Consent Questions

Nature News writes that there are questions whether informed consent was obtained for some submissions to a database of Y-chromosome profiles.

Cell Studies on Multimodal Single-Cell Analysis, Coronaviruses in Bats, Urban Microbiomes

In Cell this week: approach to analyze multimodal single-cell genomic data, analysis of bat coronaviruses, and more.