Virologist spoke about the chances of the omicron strain to become a live vaccine against COVID-19

Virologist Altstein: it is premature to call the omicron strain a live vaccine against coronavirus Microbiology named after Gamaleya Anatoly Altstein said that it is premature to call the omicron strain a vaccine against coronavirus. In an interview with, he said that such statements require time and research.

Earlier, Pyotr Chumakov, a virologist, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of the Cell Proliferation Laboratory at the V.A. it has reduced pathogenicity.

“There is an optimistic opinion that now COVID-19 has accelerated through the second phase of evolution. It has become less pathogenic, but at the same time more infectious, which is also good, “- said the virologist.

Chumakov explained that people who are infected with the new strain will become resistant to disease-causing variants. In addition, the specialist suggested that after the appearance of the new variant, there will be no more lockdowns.

Unknown properties of the virus

The expression “omicron-strain can become a live vaccine” should be taken figuratively, says Altstein. The virologist said that while medicine does not have enough data on this variation to draw such conclusions.

“Our best vaccines that we have in our medical practice are vaccines against smallpox, measles, polio, chickenpox, rubella and so on. These are live vaccines. This is a virus that has retained the ability to multiply in the human body, but does not harm it. Such viruses are studied, selected, tested for stability and used as a vaccine. They are better than antivirals, ”said the chief employee of the Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology.

There is a high probability that such a vaccine could be obtained from the omicron strain, Altstein said. “To do this, you need to know against what strains it can give immunity,” he summed up.

The doctor of medical sciences said that since the beginning of the pandemic, scientists began to unite in working groups to create live vaccines. Unfortunately, the virologist added, there are no data on successful studies yet. However, Altstein is convinced that the pandemic can be defeated precisely after the creation of a live vaccine and the omicron can be used for this.

Rospotrebnadzor confirmed the first cases of the omicron strain in Russia on Monday, December 6. It was found on two Russians who flew in from South Africa. In addition, strains of coronavirus in 10 more tourists, whose PCR tests were positive, are still being determined.

The World Health Organization does not exclude that omicron is able to displace other strains, and in the near future half of patients in Europe will be infected with this particular variant. Cases of infection with the new variant of the virus have been recorded in at least 38 countries around the world.