Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine was the first authorized for use to stem the pandemic, even before it was fully tested. Since that time, its 91.6% efficacy against the original strain has stood up to peer review in The Lancet. However, the vaccine has gained little to no traction in the West and will not be recognized as a means to gain entry to the United States under new immunization rules.
Earlier this month, the U.S. government announced it would loosen restrictions on foreign visitors that were set in place when the pandemic began. The new rules require immunization but, according to the Washington Post, excludes the millions of people who have received the Russian-made vaccine. The U.S. plan will require foreign visitors to have received a vaccine that has been approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or by the World Health Organization (WHO). The latter include those vaccines developed by Chinese biopharma companies Sinopharm and Sinovac.
Sputnik V isn’t the only vaccine excluded by U.S. regulations. The Covaxin vaccine developed in India is also not on the list. The Covaxin vaccine, developed by Bharat Biotech, has been administered to more than 500 million people in that country. U.S.-based Ocugen is hoping to bring Covaxin to the United States for authorization. Phase IV studies are underway to determine real-world efficacy of the vaccine.