Russia Working on Modified Sputnik V for Delta Variant

According to Interfax, the makers of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine have created a modified version of the vaccine for the extremely infectious Delta form.

“The vaccine design is now in the refrigerator,” Alexander Gintsburg, director of the state-run Gamaleya Institute, told Interfax, cautioning that it is too early to assess the modified vaccine’s efficacy.

Gintsburg went on to explain that although everyone has begun to develop a vaccine based on the Delta strain’s genome, no one knows if it will be superior to current Delta strain vaccinations.

According to Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, the original Sputnik V vaccination is 83 percent effective against the Delta version.

Sputnik V’s Russian Direct Investment Fund said that Gamaleya will publish a peer-reviewed research on the jab’s effectiveness against Covid-19 mutations by May, but the institution has failed to do so.

As the Delta variety, originally discovered in India, spreads throughout the country, Russia continues to experience record-breaking coronavirus fatalities. The nation has one of the highest excess mortality rates in the world, both in absolute terms and when adjusted for population size.

Despite providing four locally manufactured vaccines at no cost and many areas mandating immunizations for public-facing employees, Russia has struggled with a stalling vaccination program.

According to independent monitors, just 22.9 percent of the country’s population had got two vaccination doses as of Thursday.

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