Gap between Sputnik-V doses can be increased from 3 weeks to 3 months, say makers

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The makers of the vaccine, Gamaleya Research Centre, said that the interval may even prolong the effect of the vaccine and won’t interfere with immune response spurred by the vaccine.

The director of Russia’s Gamaleya Research Centre, which developed the Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus disease (Covid-19), said it is possible to increase the minimum interval between the first and second doses from the previously approved 21 days to three months. Alexander Gintsburg also highlighted that the interval will not affect the immune response spurred by the vaccine and in some cases may even prolong or enhance the effect of the vaccine.

“Regarding the Sputnik V vaccine designed by our Gamaleya Research Centre, we believe it is possible to increase the minimum interval between the first and second vaccine shots from the earlier approved 21 days up to three months. Extending the interval will not affect the vaccine-induced immune response, and, in some cases, will enhance and prolong it,” Ginstburg was quoted as saying in a statement released on Sputnik V’s official website. Gintsburg, however, left the decision to increase the interval of the doses on the respective national regulators.

“We also believe that, given the exceptionally high demand for the vaccine among the population, this decision would significantly expedite immunization. We believe that it is up to each national regulator to decide whether to retain the 21-day interval between shots or to extend it to up to 3 months,” Gintsburg added.

The research centre said that the observation was aided by the mass vaccination camps which were continuously testing data on vaccination in Russia as well as other countries. It also cited reports from the Argentine health ministry which had also witnessed results after prolonging the interval between the doses. The South American nation heavily relied on the Sputnik V vaccine as it faced difficulties in getting other vaccines, news agency Reuters reported last week.

Sputnik V was also granted emergency use approval by an expert panel earlier this month. The vaccine will be used along with Covaxin and Covishield to battle the surging Covid-19 cases during the second wave of the pandemic.

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