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12 Feb 2021

Belarus approves Sputnik V vaccine for over-60s

Belarus approves Sputnik V vaccine for over-60s
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MINSK, 12 February (BelTA) – Russia’s Gam-COVID-Vac (Sputnik V) vaccine has been approved by the Healthcare Ministry of Belarus for use in people over 60 years old, BelTA learned from the press service of the Healthcare Ministry.

“Registration of the vaccine for this age group is extremely important for the national healthcare system,” the press service noted.

According to Director of the Center for Examinations and Tests in Healthcare at the Healthcare Ministry of Belarus Dmitry Grinko, such a decision was made after the study of the marketing authorization application by the center’s experts and the country’s leading infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists, geneticists. By the way, Russia’s Ministry of Health approved this vaccine for use in the 60-plus age group in December 2020.

The press service of the Healthcare Ministry added that clinical trials with more than 1,000 volunteers over 60 years old confirmed the safety and efficacy of the Sputnik V vaccine. This evidence was sufficient to allow the expanded approval of the vaccine.

The use of Sputnik V in people over 60 was studied during two clinical trials in Russia. The data obtained during the trials showed that the first vaccination leads to humoral cellular immunity, and once a second vaccination is administered, memory cells are formed, the press service informed. Study results demonstrated the vaccine's effectiveness in triggering a strong antibody response against the virus in nearly 100% of those vaccinated. The peak of vaccine-induced antibody titers is observed by the 42nd day after vaccination.

The Healthcare Ministry emphasized that the clinical studies confirmed the vaccine’s efficacy and safety for the age group over 60 years. Sputnik V is tolerated without any serous side effects, while those side effects that people experienced are generally common for vaccines.

Belarusian healthcare facilities embarked on preparations for mass vaccination of the general public. Personnel training is now underway. Senior people will be offered to undergo a comprehensive medical examination in compliance with the necessary safety measures.

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