MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Sputnik V shot is less effective against the South African COVID-19 variant but still does better than other vaccines, the lead scientist behind it was quoted as saying on Friday.

“With regards to the ‘South African’ variant, the effectiveness of the antibodies produced by Sputnik V, like all other vaccines, against it declines,” Alexander Gintsburg said in a interview with the Interfax news agency.

He said that Sputnik V was tested against the British and South African variants, as well as the original strain, first detected in China’s Wuhan province, by laboratories in the United States. The labs used blood samples collected from people vaccinated with Sputnik V in Argentina, Gintsburg said.

Underlining that Russian researchers played no part in the lab tests, Gintsburg

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