Russia says Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine is 95% effective

Hopes over COVID-19 vaccines have given a boost to virus-weary citizens across the globe, but the disease remains rampant and world leaders are urging people to be patient.

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MOSCOW - Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is 95% effective according to a second interim analysis of clinical trial data, its developers said on Tuesday.

The calculations were based on preliminary data obtained 42 days after the first dose, Russia's health ministry, the state-run Gamaleya research centre, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said in a statement.

They did not note the number of cases used to make the calculation, however.

Hopes over COVID-19 vaccines have given a boost to virus-weary citizens across the globe, but the disease remains rampant and world leaders are urging people to be patient.

The world is still engulfed in the unprecedented health crisis which has shattered economies, infected almost 58.9 million people, and left nearly 1.4 million dead.

AstraZeneca and Oxford University on Monday said their drug had proved on average 70% effective at stopping the virus after trying it on 23,000 people, days after tests of two other drugs suggested they were more than 90% effective.

While World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hailed the latest batch of results as light at the end of the "long dark tunnel", he cautioned the world had to ensure drugs were distributed fairly.

"Every government rightly wants to do everything it can to protect its people," Tedros said. "But there is now a real risk that the poorest and most vulnerable will be trampled in the stampede for vaccines."

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