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12 Feb, 2021 14:44

Russia’s Sputnik V jab developers working on vaccine to tackle several Covid-19 strains at once

Russia’s Sputnik V jab developers working on vaccine to tackle several Covid-19 strains at once

The Gamaleya Institute behind Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine said it’s working on a technology that will lead to an effective jab against several coronavirus variants and which could also be swiftly updated to tackle new mutations.

The multiplying variants of Covid-19, which could turn out to be resistant to current vaccines and prolong the pandemic even further, have recently become a source of major concern for governments and medics around the globe.

But the solution to the problem may be just around the corner, as the Gamaleya Institute's director, Alexander Gintsburg, revealed that the Moscow-based research body “has developed a technology that allows to quickly and efficiently create vaccine agents that will include antigens not from one, but two, three, four or five different coronavirus variants.”

Such a vaccine should be able to provide immunity from all coronavirus strains that could threaten a population at any given time, Gintsburg said, in an interview with the Rossiya 24 channel.

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So far, all of the known mutations appear to be covered by the vaccines, but that may well change as RNA viruses like Covid-19 are the most rapidly changing objects in the world, he pointed out.

The Russian multi-variant vaccine is currently in its research phase, with clinical trials scheduled to begin by the end of the year. The finished drug will likely be made available to customers in 2022, Gintsburg estimated.

Numerous strains of coronavirus have been already discovered by scientists, but three of them are causing the most worries at the moment. The so-called UK, South Africa and Brazil variants have shown multiple changes in their spike protein, through which the virus attaches itself to human cells.

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It made those mutations much more contagious than the original Covid-19, provoking spikes in infections in their countries of their origin and allowing them to quickly spread to many other places around the world.

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