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Turkmenistan Becomes One of First Countries to Register Sputnik Light Vaccine

By Vusala Abbasova December 26, 2021

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Sputnik Light is the first component of the Sputnik V vaccine and Russia's fourth domestically produced vaccine against the novel coronavirus behind Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona, and CoviVac.

Turkmenistan's Ministry of Health and Medical Industry has registered the Russian-made single-dose Sputnik Light Covid-19 vaccine and issued the certificate for its use in the country.

According to a statement issued by the Turkmen Foreign Ministry on Thursday, Turkmenistan became one of the first countries to approve the use of Russian vaccines "Sputnik V," "EpiVacCorona" and "Sputnik Light" on its territory.

Sputnik Light is the first component of the Sputnik V vaccine and Russia's fourth domestically produced vaccine against the novel coronavirus behind Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac.

Developed by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Sputnik Light is a vector vaccine based on human adenovirus with an integrated SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus gene. Adenovirus is used as a carrier to deliver a small fragment of the coronavirus gene to cells and start the synthesis of the new coronavirus' envelope proteins, introducing the immune system to a potential enemy. According to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which financed clinical trials of Sputnik Light, the single-dose vaccine had demonstrated 79.4 percent efficacy, higher than that of many two-dose vaccines.

Initially earmarked for export to help countries with high infection rates combat the pandemic, the one-dose vaccine is considered to be a suitable jab for the revaccination of citizens and for vaccination of those who already had Covid-19. To date, the Sputnik Light vaccine has been approved for use in more than fifteen countries around the world and is currently undergoing registration procedures in 30 more countries.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which financed the development of Sputnik Light, announced earlier that the production of the one-dose vaccine is scheduled in more than 10 countries, including India, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Mexico, Argentina, Serbia, and Turkey.

On Friday, Turkmenistan received 10,000 jabs of the Russian-made one-dose vaccine free of charge. Alexander Blokhin, Russian Ambassador to Turkmenistan, said that nearly 80 percent of Turkmenistan's eligible population has completed the vaccination against the novel coronavirus.

In January 2021, Turkmenistan became the first Central Asian country to register the Sputnik V vaccine. In April, the first batch of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine was delivered to Turkmenistan, another batch was delivered to the country at the end of August.

Last year, Turkmenistan expressed its interest in procuring the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia within the framework of its national plan for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines and its delivery to the country. The plan envisages analyzing the experience of producing the vaccine in other countries by the Turkmen diplomatic missions abroad.

Russia has so far delivered around 600 thousand doses of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine to Turkmenistan.

The vaccine demonstrated an efficacy rate above 90% at each of the three control points of the trials. In addition, it demonstrated 100% efficacy against severe Covid-19 cases. Based on the adenovirus that causes the common cold, Sputnik V uses two strains of a human adenovirus to trigger an immune response.