Moscow, Aug. 19, (dpa/GNA) – Russian researchers say they have modified the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, which has been in use for over a year, for use against the more contagious Delta variant of the virus.
"The constructed vaccine is already in the refrigerator," the head of the Gamaleya Institute, Alexander Ginzburg, told the Interfax agency on Thursday. He said it was too early to talk about the vaccine's level of efficacy.
Other manufacturers worldwide are already working on Delta modifications of their vaccines.
At the same time, Ginzburg advocated the use of a vaccine called Sputnik light as a booster vaccination for those vaccinated twice with the BioNTech/Pfizer preparation.
Russia has so far developed a total of four vaccines against the coronavirus and is working on a fifth vaccine, according to the authorities.
Sputnik V, which is approved in about 70 countries, has been marketed internationally so far.
According to Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, Sputnik V is said to have an efficacy rate of 83 per cent with regard to infections with the Delta variant.
Russia, like many other countries, is struggling with the Delta variant and is currently registering about 800 deaths per day.
According to official figures, 41.5 million people in Russia, or 28.4 per cent, of the population have been vaccinated so far, 33.5 million of them twice and thus completely, or 22.9 per cent.
In the EU, approval for Sputnik V is still being examined. However, Russia is repeatedly criticized for not providing sufficient data for an EU-wide approval.
EU member Hungary, for example, has been using Sputnik for a long time on the basis of a national approval. In Germany, the vaccinations are not recognized.