MOSCOW, April 26. /TASS/. The interval between the first and second doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine can be extended from 21 days to three months, which will not affect the quality of vaccination and will make immune response stronger in some cases, Alexander Gintsburg, the director of the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, which developed the vaccine, has said.
"As for the Sputnik V vaccine developed by our research center, we believe that it is possible to extend the minimum interval between the first and second vaccine shots from the previously approved 21 days to three months. Extending the interval won’t affect the immune response and may even enhance and prolong it," he was quoted as saying on the official website of the vaccine.
According to Gintsburg, this conclusion has been drawn based on successful mass vaccination campaigns in Russia and other countries. "We believe that, given the exceptionally high demand for the vaccine, this decision would significantly expedite immunization. <...> Each national regulator will decide whether to retain the 21-day interval between the shots or to extend it to up to 3 months," he said, adding that in Russia the interval will remain the same.
To date, 4,771,372 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 4,394,639 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 108,588 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.