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Delta strain may become standard for coronavirus vaccines, expert says

Vaccine developers will probably start using the Delta strain of the coronavirus as their primary target in the future because new mutations are likely to be based on this variant, Director General of Russia’s State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology Vector Rinat Maksyutov told reporters on Friday.

When developing new vaccines in the future, the basis of vaccines registered in Russia will probably be replaced with the Delta variant. This particular mutation currently accounts for 95% of cases, which guarantees that new variants of the virus will be based on the Delta variant, so replacing the vaccine strain with the Delta variant is a matter for the future, he pointed out.

According to Maksyutov, the basis of all Russian vaccines can be replaced in a couple of weeks to a month. “It requires activities similar to those that are carried out when we upgrade seasonal flu vaccines,” the expert noted.

Four coronavirus vaccines have been registered in Russia so far, including Sputnik V and Sputnik Light, developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, EpiVacCorona, created by the Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology Vector, and CoviVac, made by the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Chumakov Center. The Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac are two-dose vaccines and Sputnik Light is a single-dose one.


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