Virologist Altstein considered the conclusions about the decrease in the effectiveness of vaccines against omicron as hasty that the existing vaccines against coronavirus are less effective against the detected omicron strain. According to him, such statements will be appropriate in two to three weeks, after conducting the relevant research, which at the moment simply could not be done. The scientist said this in a conversation with Lenta.ru.
Earlier, the head of Moderna, Stefan Bansel, said in a commentary for the Financial Times that the existing vaccines are less effective against the recently discovered omicron strain, and for the development and production of new in the right amount, it can take months. The final understanding of the effect of mutations in the strain on the effectiveness of vaccines will come in at least two weeks, he said.
The time has not come
Altstein said that Bansel had no right to make such statements. “He cannot know about it. Enough time has not yet passed to find out, “- noted the Chief Researcher of the Research Center named after Gamaleya.
He stressed that the time has not yet come for such statements, since it was simply impossible to obtain information confirming these words in such a short time. “While it is assumed that some effect of the vaccines will continue, but it will be known for sure in two to three weeks. For accurate conclusions, it is necessary to conduct an experiment. This requires an isolated virus, immune serum, vaccinated by people with different vaccines, “- explained the virologist.
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Altstein explains what the essence of the experiment is. “It is necessary to isolate the virus in order for it to multiply in cell culture. Reproducing in cells, it causes a cytopathic effect. The cells are destroyed and thus it is clearly visible. Then this virus in a certain dose is mixed with serum, introduced into the cell culture and observed. If the serum neutralizes it, then there is no cytapathic effect, and if these antibodies are not able to neutralize the virus, the cells of the infected culture are destroyed. So, with the help of such experience, it is possible to determine in advance whether this or that vaccine will protect against the virus or not, “said the scientist.
Previously, professor at the School of Systems Biology at George Mason University (Virginia), Doctor of Biological Sciences Ancha Baranova named vaccines based on an adenoviral basis, which may be more effective against the omicron strain of coronavirus than RNA drugs.