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Photo: Donat Sorokin\TASS via Getty Images

AstraZeneca will begin trials to test whether its experimental coronavirus vaccine can be successfully combined with Russia’s Sputnik V shot, the company announced on Friday.

Why it matters: Both AstraZeneca's and Russia's vaccines have raised questions among experts around their separate trials. Russia has not completed advanced studies on the vaccine to ensure whether it is safe and adheres to scientific protocols. AstraZeneca's vaccine is reported to be about 62% effective, but some patients accidentally received a modified dosing regimen during trials.

The big picture: The announcement comes days after the developers of the Sputnik V vaccine proposed on Twitter that AstraZeneca combine its shot with Russia's.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Details: The Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund which has funded the development of Sputnik V, said clinical trials with AstraZeneca’s would begin by the end of the month, per CNBC.

  • The trial will begin enrolling adults aged 18 years and older.

Worth noting: Last week, Russia began distributing its vaccine — which they report to be 90% effective — in Moscow, announcing that 5,000 people had signed up to be inoculated in the city.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

J&J says its one-shot vaccine is 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID

Photo: Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that its single-shot coronavirus vaccine was 66% effective in protecting against moderate to severe COVID-19 disease in Phase 3 trials, which was comprised of nearly 44,000 participants across eight countries.

Between the lines: The vaccine was 72% effective in the U.S., but only 57% effective in South Africa, where a more contagious variant has been spreading. It prevented 85% of severe infections and 100% of hospitalizations and deaths, according to the company.

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Mix-and-matching gains momentum — Boosters overtake first doses in U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate Brazilian cityPanel endorses J&J booster.
  2. Health: Unvaccinated 11x more likely to die from COVID — 5x more police officers died from COVID than guns — New cases down
  3. Politics: Over 30 states limited public health powers — Pope Francis calls on companies to release COVID vaccine patents — Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jan 29, 2021 - Health

Ex-CDC director Tom Frieden on the next COVID-19 vaccines

Americans fortunate enough to receive COVID vaccines now, outside of clinical trials, are getting shots made by either Pfizer or Moderna. But newly released data from Novavax and Johnson & Johnson suggests that more vaccines could be on the way, with J&J's requiring a single dose.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the news and why it matters with Tom Frieden, former head of the CDC, as COVID-19 variants spread globally.