Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for Covid-19 is about 90% effective against the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, its developers said on Tuesday.

The vaccine, which Russia has actively marketed abroad, had already been tested by researchers with an efficacy of almost 92% against the original strain of the coronavirus.

Denis Logunov, deputy director of the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow, which developed Sputnik V, said the efficacy figure against the Delta variant was calculated based on digital vaccine and medical records, the RIA news agency reported.

Russian authorities have blamed the recent rise in COVID-19 cases on the infectious Delta variant, which they say accounts for about 90% of all new cases, and the reluctance of many Russians to get vaccinated.

According to Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya Institute, countries around the world have sounded the alarm about the Delta variant.

The proportion of COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant more than doubled in Germany within a week, and is likely to gain more ground versus other variants, a senior health official said on Monday.

Russia, with a population of about 144 million, has approved four domestically manufactured vaccines and has recorded some 5.5 million infections since the start of the pandemic.

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