It will take not more than two months to create an absolutely new vaccine against new mutations of the coronavirus, Alexander Gorelov, deputy director of the Russian sanitary watchdog’s Central Research Institute of Epidemiology and a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said on Monday.
"It won’t take more than two months. <…> The most important thing was to create a platform, to develop technologies, to scale up production. And to make changes inside the vaccine is like playing Lego - we will have one key result - a vaccine’s potency to protect against the novel coronavirus infection - by changing components," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel when asked how long it might take to make a vaccine against an absolutely new coronavirus strain, TASS reports.
He stressed that the existing Covid-19 vaccines in the world are capable of protecting against the virus mutations and noted the efficacy of Russian vaccines. "But if the strain composition is principally changed, the main thing that matters is the fact that a platform for the vaccine already exists. And the composition of the coronavirus vaccine will be changed, as it is done with flu vaccines," he noted.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the VOC-202012/01 variant emerged in the United Kingdom in September 2020. The 501Y.V2 strain has been spreading in South Africa since early August 2020, and the P.1 strain has been circulating in Brazil and Japan since December 2020.
According to the latest statistics, around 136.1 million people have been infected worldwide and more than 2.9 million deaths have been reported.
To date, 4,649,710 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 4,272,165 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 103,263 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.