People who already had the coronavirus show rapid immune response to Sputnik V and may require just one shot of the Russian jab during vaccination, a study in Buenos Aires found.
Participants developed Covid-19 antibodies in 100 percent of the cases after both doses of Sputnik V were administered to them, a study by Buenos Aires-based Leloir Institute Foundation (FIL) revealed.
The research, which was supported by the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) and the provincial health ministry, saw 142 volunteers from among Buenos Aires medical workers aged between 18 and 59 taking part. They were tested before the vaccination, three weeks after the first shot and the same period after the second one.
Twenty-two of those volunteers already had the coronavirus, with their tests providing the scientists with some game-changing results.
“People previously exposed to the virus, who were known to have antibodies before the start of the vaccination, generate a rapid humoral immune response after receiving a single dose of Sputnik V vaccine, showing levels of antibodies similar or even higher than those produced in uninfected people, who received two doses of the vaccine,” Andrea Gamarnik, who heads the Molecular Virology Laboratory at FIL, said.
The Russian jab capitalizes on “the immunological memory” that is generated by the coronavirus in former patients and produces “increased levels of antibodies” in them, Jorge Geffner, a member of the research team and senior scientist at CONICET, added.
The study revealed that the level of antibodies in previously infected people who received a single dose of Sputnik V can be eight times higher than in those who never had Covid-19 and were administered two shots.
The scientists suggested that the vaccination plan for former coronavirus patients should be updated so that they would only be getting one injection of the vaccine, which would allow “optimizing resources without compromising the effectiveness of the immunization.”
Marina Pifano of the provincial health ministry shared the colleagues’ optimism.
Preliminary results of this study bring a lot of enthusiasm, as they are very significant when it comes to the decisions made in regard to the vaccination campaign as well as the donation of plasma for the Covid-19 treatment.
In February, New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine carried out a similar study on people who had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.The research also pointed out a “robust humoral response” to the first dose of the US-made jab in those who already had Covid-19. However, the second dose caused a drop in the amount of antibodies, it added.
In late December, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to register Sputnik V after signing a deal with Russia to purchase 10 million doses of the jab. The vaccination campaign started shortly after that, with the country’s president, Alberto Fernandez, being among those injected.
Last week, Moscow and Buenos Aires reached “a memorandum of understanding” on the production of Sputnik V in Argentina. It may begin in 12 to 18 months, according to the Argentinean officials.
Sputnik V became the world’s first registered vaccine against Covid-19. It has been bankrolled by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is also responsible for its global production and rollout.
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