Sputnik becomes the world’s first coronavirus vaccine to provide evidence-based protection for HIV-infected people

(ORDO NEWS) — Until now, the extent of such protection for Covid-19 vaccines has remained unclear, but influenza vaccines have been known to protect people with HIV less than others.

The human immunodeficiency virus attacks the body’s immune cells, thereby reducing its ability to resist pathogens. In our time, almost everyone from among HIV-infected people receives therapy that maintains the concentration of the virus in the blood as low as possible.

However, in such cases, problems with immunity are not excluded: it is believed that the therapy itself can somewhat reduce it.

In addition, after viral infections such as influenza from which patients with HIV normally suffer longer than ordinary people they have an increase in the concentration of the immunodeficiency virus in their blood.

Unfortunately, there is little specific information on vaccine efficacy in this group of people: obtaining it requires clinical trials, in which some of these patients will be exposed to dangerous pathogens.

It is clear that under normal conditions, they try not to go for this, so as not to multiply the risks for people with problematic immunity.

However, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, there are still risks, which allowed the developers of Sputnik-V (together with employees of the Moscow City Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS) to conduct a study on how their drug protects HIV-infected people from Covid-19.

They analyzed the incidence among 24 thousand such people in Moscow in the spring-autumn of 2021, the period when the delta strain began to dominate in Russia.

It turned out that among people who consistently take retroviral therapy that suppresses HIV replication, protection against coronavirus was very high – 79.42%.

If you look at protection only from the delta strain, then 65.35%. This latter figure is well below the 80% protection that Sputnik gave from the delta strain to individuals without HIV. Protection from hospitalization in the case of this strain was 75.77%, and from severe and moderate course – 93.05%.

Sputnik becomes the worlds first coronavirus vaccine to provide evidence based protection for HIV infected people

Unfortunately, some HIV carriers in Russia do not regularly take retroviral therapy (although it is funded by the state). Therefore, among them there are those who have a concentration of T-helpers (cells of the immune system attacked by HIV) below 350 cells per milliliter of blood.

For such patients, the protective effectiveness of Sputnik was somewhat lower. However, their number in the studied group of 24 thousand was insufficient to obtain statistically reliable data on the level of protection.

But they were able to reduce the overall level of protective effectiveness of Sputnik (without division into strains) among HIV-infected people in this group to 76.33%.

However, even this indicator is very high: protection against delta for the best Western vaccines is at the same level even for healthy people. What is the protective efficacy for HIV infected Moderna and its weaker analogues in the rest of the world is not clear, since Western vaccine developers have not yet conducted similar studies.

Although the topic of coronavirus has unreasonably left the media agenda, it still remains the most important threat to the economy and to people’s lives. Omicron was able to break into certain areas of China and has already forced the authorities to introduce lockdowns in some of them.

This threatens to slow down the growth of the Chinese economy, whose PPP GDP is the first in the world. In Russia, the number of deaths from Covid-19 per day, even according to official data, is more than 300, and judging by the excess mortality, it is twice as high. For comparison: the losses in the current hostilities in Ukraine in our country are 45 people killed per day.

In such conditions, it is extremely important to create and massively apply vaccines that protect against the “omicron” better than existing ones. To this end, the developers of Sputnik are working on a new drug now no longer a vector, but on virus like particles carrying the S-protein of SARS-CoV-2.

Moreover, the new vaccine will also contain the S-protein of the Omicron strain, which will allow such a drug to protect the vaccinated better than the current Sputnik or any other serial vaccine produced today. Unfortunately, the new drug is unlikely to hit the market before autumn.

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