Russian coronavirus vaccine may be ‘updated’ with new strains, developer says

Russian coronavirus vaccine may be 'updated' with new strains, developer says

Developers of Russian vaccine against Sputnik V coronavirus he told me On Friday, they developed technology that “updates” the jab to protect against new, more contagious strains of the virus.
Studies suggest that the vaccines currently in use offer less protection against the newer variants of Covid-19 that have emerged in Britain, South Africa and Brazil.
Scientists at the Gamaleya public research institute that designed Sputnik V are able to synthesize a virus structure within 24 hours that mimics the new strains, its director Alexander Gintsburg told state media.
“It’s inserted into the vector used the next day and you end up with a genetically modified design that allows you to use it as a vaccine,” RIA Novosti news agency said citing Gintsburg.

He noted that discussions are underway to test the new technology on a limited sample group of up to 100 volunteers without mass clinical trials.

“If it provides the same adequate protective effect against the new strain, it can be mass produced immediately,” Gintsburg said.

Russian health officials said Thursday they have documented 78 cases of British strains and five cases of South African strains since the first cases were discovered in Russia earlier this year.

Authorities also said last fall that a mutated strain of the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19 was discovered in Siberia, but did not say it was more contagious or dangerous.

Gintsburg’s promotion of advances with Sputnik V comes as vaccine deployment in Russia is relatively slow despite peer-reviewed studies showing the vaccine’s 91.6% efficacy and approval of two other domestic vaccines. Public polls show widespread distrust of Covid-19 vaccines over potential side effects, contraindications and a general lack of information on trial results.

Russia has the fifth highest number of cases of coronavirus infections in the world and, according to state statistics, one of the highest death rates in the world.


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