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Russian scientists are experimenting with yoghurt-like COVID vaccine

The vaccine is now undergoing preclinical research — tests on animals

ST. PETERSBURG, September 15. /TASS/. Scientists at the Institute of Experimental Medicine in St. Petersburg have started testing an experimental vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection on the basis of lactic acid bacteria and parts of alpha and delta strains, the chief of the institute’s molecular microbiology section, Associate Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Suvorov, told TASS on Wednesday.

"When we were still making our first lactic acid ferment, we were focused on the very first virus strain. We keep pushing ahead with this research, because it remains significantly present and is circulating in different countries, although to different degrees. The delta strain is beginning to dominate here. We have come up with the first version already. It includes parts of the coronavirus protein corresponding to the alpha and delta strains. They have been included in the composition of the new vaccine candidate," Suvorov said.

The vaccine is now undergoing preclinical research — tests on animals. The authors say it evokes a stable immune response.

"But we can see only if antibodies are developed in mice. Mice do not fall ill. We are unable to infect them. We have no permission to work with the real virus," he explained.

Suvorov said it remained to be seen what degree of protection the proposed vaccine might guarantee and to what extent it would be able to protect from the real virus. Hopefully, this part of research will begin this year.

He speculates that the vaccine might be manufactured in the form of a liquid ferment or in capsules.