However the Lancet report is based upon phase one and two trials, the vaccine has yet to be tested in a phase 3 trial. A stage 3 trial is a much larger trial, often involving hundreds, possibly thousands of participants coming from a range of different countries. The Lancet reported the Russia scientists finding the vaccine stimulated an immune response and did not cause any serious health issues.
The news comes amid intelligence reports of a Russian cyberattack on Oxford University where scientists are developing an almost identical vaccine.
This raised speculation that Moscow had tried to steal UK research.
Russia’s new vaccine was approved for mass use last month by Vladimir Putin.
The hasty move by Mr Putin caused alarm initially, but now two early clinical trials, published today in The Lancet, indicate it’s safe and effective.
Its approval was announced by President Vladimir Putin in August.
Mr Putin said: “I know the vaccine works quite effectively, helps to develop strong immunity, and has gone through all the necessary tests.”
At the the Russian president revealed his daughter received the vaccine.
Mr Putin said: “She feels well, and the concentration of antibodies is high.
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Writing in The Lancet Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London said: “Immune response might not be directly proportional to the degree of protection—you can only find this out in large-scale trials.”
Scientists from outside Russia have now said the results are “somewhat reassuring”.
US and Uk scientists said the results were “encouraging” and that the vaccine showed “promise”.
However, they have warned the trials were too small and narrow to be announced as a complete success,
As yet only 76 people have been injected with the vaccine.