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No plans to change Sputnik V due to Indian COVID-19 strain, Russian scientist says

The creation of a new vaccine is a lengthy process, and during this period of time, another strain will emerge, Alexander Gintsburg explained

MOSCOW, June 18. /TASS/. The composition of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine will not be adapted to the Indian coronavirus variant and other new strains, Director of the Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology Alexander Gintsburg told the Izvestia daily.

The creation of a new vaccine is a lengthy process, he explained. "The scientific part will take ten days, and the regulatory process - about 3-4 months. During this period of time, the virus will mutate and another strain will emerge. That is why developing vaccines adapted to new strains is a thankless undertaking, given that picture of the mutation activity of SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, we are going the other way. It is necessary to maintain high titers with the help of the vaccine, which exists now," Gintsburg said.

According to a message posted on the Sputnik V Twitter account on June 15, it is more effective against the Indian strain than any other vaccine. In late April, Gintsburg announced that Sputnik created enough antibodies to fight the Indian coronavirus strain.

On June 17, head of Russia’s Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing Anna Popova warned that the Indian strain was spreading across Russia extensively. On the same day, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said it was important to continue researching new coronavirus strains and make every effort to prevent their spread.