The news that the jab is as effective as the West’s best efforts provides reason for cheer in regions like the Middle East and South America, where some countries have approved the vaccine — but it also could dog EU officials trying to hold together a coalition that has become embittered over the bloc’s contested vaccine strategy and sluggish vaccine rollout.

As countries like Hungary and Serbia — and maybe Germany — seek alliances with the Russian developer, EU citizens may want to know why leaders didn’t engage with Moscow from the start for the broader sake of public health.

The study in the Lancet, above all else, establishes the vaccine as a serious contender with an efficacy rate of about 92 percent. The figure was arrived at by comparing the number of people infected with coronavirus in the vaccinated group (14,964 subjects) with a control group given a placebo (4,902 subjects).