MOSCOW, July 18. /TASS/. Mutations in coronavirus occur much slower than the mutations of the flu virus despite the regular emergence of new strains, founder and general director of the DNKOM research center for molecular and genetic studies Andrei Isaev told TASS.
"Fortunately, the coronavirus mutates much slower than flu. And the pandemics due to the latter are declared in our country annually and many people get inoculated against flu. Only this year, despite the flu virus falling out of the news agenda, the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing is planning to vaccinate 60 mln Russians with flu shots," he said.
At the same time, according to the expert, it is simply impossible to stop the coronavirus mutations. "We’ve never managed to slow down the evolution around us, so it is anti-scientific to talk about possibilities of stopping the COVID mutation. That is why it will mutate always. Yet, as opposed to other types of viruses, its mutations occur rather slowly. Yes, new strains constantly emerge. Yet in fact over a year and a half, three arginines changed in the coronavirus’ receptor-binding domain (the RBD-domain) which, in my opinion, is ridiculous to call a rapid mutation," the agency’s interlocutor explained.
As earlier reported, Russian biologists deciphered the genomes of over 500 samples of SARS-CoV-2 and tracked the spread of new variants in Moscow and the Moscow Region. These observations confirmed that the coronavirus Delta strain began to dominate in the capital in June 2021, the researchers wrote in an article in the bioRxiv electronic library.