Mentioning that Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is 96 percent effective, Alexander Gintsburg, the head of the vaccine's developer, Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, said it is likely to offer two-year-long protection against the novel coronavirus.
"So far, I can only make suggestions, because more experimental data is needed. Our vaccine was created on the platform also used for the Ebola vaccine. Experimental data received at that point demonstrate that a similar vaccine would offer protection for two years, maybe more," he told the Soloviev Live channel on YouTube, reports Russian news agency TASS.
According to the Russian scientist, Sputnik V is effective in 96 percent of cases. The remaining four percent of vaccinated persons will have a mild form of the disease with runny nose, cough and slight fever, but lungs won't be affected.
Gintsburg explained the criticism of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine by unfair market competition and political motives.
"The first reason is that the market for this vaccine amounts to tens, maybe hundreds of billions of dollars. Corporations and people, who are behind all this money, fight for the profit. And no holds are barred here," he said
The other reason are political motives, Gintsburg noted.
"As we could witness not so long ago, a group of vaccine researchers almost played a crucial role during elections in one country on the American continent. All together, they announced that they had created a vaccine three or five days after the elections were over. Before that, the vaccine was not yet ready," he said.
Registered by Russia on August 11, Sputnik V became the world's first coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology.
Its post-registration trials began in Moscow on September 7, with volunteers receiving the first vaccine on September 9. A total of 40,000 people are involved in the programme, 10,000 of them received a placebo instead of the vaccine.
According to interim research results, the efficacy of the Sputnik V vaccine exceeds 95 percent on the 42nd day after the first dose, provided that a patient receives the second dose.
On 2 December, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to organise a nationwide vaccination starting by the end of this week.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said the inoculation should be completely voluntary and free of charge, with teachers, medics, and social workers receiving the vaccine first, while the regions can expand this list.