Since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a pandemic in January 2020, medical scientists have not relented in their efforts to find a cure.
The efforts of these scientists have resulted in the development of some vaccines, with others at the laboratory going through the relevant process.
Some of those in use now are Pfizer/BioNtech, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Novavax (a single-dose vaccine made by Janssen and approved for use in the UK). There are others like the Sinovac, CanSino and Sinopharm vaccines developed by scientists in China.
Russia made news last year when it launched and registered the first COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V.
Some people looked at it with suspicion but the Russian scientists did not allow anyone to discourage them.
Sputnik V had been accepted by over 60 countries as of May, this year.
The two-dose Sputnik V vaccine is said to have shown efficacy of 91.4 percent in clinical trials, but according to real-world data, it is 97.6 percent effective against COVID-19.
The Russians have gone ahead to produce a higher version of Sputnik V, which is a one-dose vaccine, called Sputnik Light.
According to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), 28 days after immunisation, the Sputnik Light vaccine was 79.4 percent effective against the virus causing COVID-19.
The RDIF explains that the efficacy rate is based on data from Russia’s vaccination programme, which ran from December 5, 2020 to April 15, 2021 and that it has also proven to be effective against “all-new strains of coronavirus.
Compared to Sputnik Light, the J&J vaccine has an efficacy of 66.9 percent against symptomatic, moderate and severe SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The RDIF says the Phase I and II clinical trials involving Sputnik Light focused only on 7,000 Russians who were not administered the second dose.
Phase III involve another 7,000 people in various countries, including Russia, the UAE and Ghana.
So far, the result from phases I/II show that the vaccine is efficacious and that it has no side effects.
The scientists have said that it is hard to compare one company’s results with another as their trials will have been conducted in slightly different ways and at different points in the pandemic.
However, all the main vaccines seem to protect people against COVID-19.
It is upon this basis that the Ghanaian Times wishes to commend the Ghanaian health authorities for agreeing to the trial of the “Sputnik Light Vaccine in the country from June 28 till January 2022.
The vaccine is expected to be tested on 1000 community members from the Shai Osu Doku and Ningo Prampram municipalities in the Greater Accra Region and the Kassena-Nankana Municipal in the Upper East Region.
The goal of the trial is to assess the safety, efficacy, tolerability and immunogenicity of the vaccine against disease.
The Ghanaian Times believes the result of the trial in the country would match the positive ones seen elsewhere.
Also, as single dose, Sputnik Light would eliminate the anxiety associated with the single-dose vaccines, especially in Ghana, where getting the second dose is a problem.
Moreover, the people would be saved the time to spend in queues for the second jab in the case of a double-dose vaccine.
Besides, we expect that the cost of the single dose would be lower than the double one, hence the state can enjoy some financial ease.