UK's AstraZeneca which developed Coronavirus vaccines along with the University of Oxford decided to start clinical trials to test a combination of its own vaccine with Russia's Sputnik V.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, December 21, hailed the decision of signing a cooperation memorandum to see if this can boost the efficacy of AstraZeneca's vaccine. However, according to recent reports the Russian vaccine has an efficacy of more than 90 percent, which is higher the Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine efficacy percentage (more than 70%).

Collaboration to Fight COVID-19

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

While speaking by video conference at a virtual event, Putin praised Pascal Soriot, the Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca. "I want to single out your pro-active stance to achieve goals that are highly important, not just for your company, but in reality, and without excessive bombast or exaggeration, for humanity," said the Russian President.

Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said that the clinical trials combining Gamaleya Institute's Sputnik V and AstraZeneca's vaccine are starting soon in three countries. However, he did not name the countries.

He also said that the Russian vaccine will be "highly effective" against the new strain of coronavirus found in Europe. "According to our information, Sputnik V will be as highly effective against the new strain of the Coronavirus found in Europe as against the existing strains. Sputnik V has been showing its efficacy over a period of time despite the previous mutations of S-protein", he said.

Russia Coronavirus Vaccine
Russia Coronavirus Vaccine YouTube Grab/Sputnik

While talking about the new collaboration, Dmitriev said that the joint work with a pharmaceutical giant like AstraZeneca "is becoming particularly important today", to fight against the new strain of novel Coronavirus.

Even though there are still doubts about the efficacy of the Sputnik V vaccine in the west, the RDIF CEO said that the shot has been registered for use in Belarus.