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Coronavirus mutations only slightly reduce vaccines’ efficacy

The mutations of the novel coronavirus cause only a marginal decrease in the efficacy of vaccines certified in Russia, General Director of the Vector State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology Rinat Maksyutov told journalists on Friday.

All the vaccines are based on the initial Wuhan variant. Those replacements that we see today in the new variants of the coronavirus, including the Delta [variant], slightly reduce the efficacy of the vaccines that use the Wuhan variant as their base. Yet predominantly these vaccines remain effective and on the whole shape herd immunity which, with the necessary coverage with the vaccines, will ensure the protection of our citizens, he said.

The studies of the sera of those inoculated demonstrate a high level of protection against the coronavirus Delta strain provided by all the vaccines certified in Russia, the scientist noted.

At the same time, he added that to date the studies of coronavirus mutations continue. “In Russia, the monitoring system of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing has already sequenced over 20,000 different strains of the obtained genomes of this virus. As of today, we’ve seen already over 18,000 replacements in this total number of strains,” the expert said.

To date, Russia has certified four vaccines against the coronavirus infection: Sputnik V and Sputnik Light by the Gamaleya Center of Russia’s Healthcare Ministry, EpiVacCorona developed by the Vector Center of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing, as well as CoviVac created by the Chumakov Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac jabs have two doses while Sputnik Light is a single-shot vaccine.


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