The CoviVac coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chumakov Federal Scientific Center for Research and Development of Immune and Biological Products at the Russian Academy of Sciences can be effective against all currently known coronavirus mutations as it is based on whole virus antigens, Aidar Ishmukhametov, the Center;s director general and a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said on Tuesday.
"As of today, a lot of coronavirus mutations have been registered. Bearing in mind that the CoviVac vaccine developed by our center’s specialists is a whole virion vaccine, i.e. has antigens of the whole virus, it can be effective against all known coronavirus mutations. I am sure that if a new coronavirus strain requiring a new vaccine emerges, we will be able to make it," he told TASS.
As of April 16, more than 190 cases of the British coronavirus strain and more than 20 cases of the South African strain were registered in Russia, chief of Russia’s sanitary watchdog Anna Popova said on Monday. In November, she said that a new mutation had been spotted in Siberia. However the watchdog specialists said later that it was not a particular Siberian strain but a mutation already circulating abroad.
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.
The Chumakov Center’s inactivated whole-virion Covivac vaccine was registered with the Russian health ministry on February 19. Whole-virion vaccines are based either on artificially weakened viruses incapable of causing a disease or killed (inactivated) viruses. It was Russia’s third vaccine certified for mass use. Mass production licked off on March 25.