Russian scientists fear potential ‘Moscow’ Covid strain could fight off vaccines

New fears have emerged as Russian scientists test the strength of what they think could be a new 'Moscow' strain of Covid.

Health officials have not yet released any details on the potential variant, but experts are saying they feel confident the jab will remain effective.

Cases of the coronavirus in Moscow has been rising steadily since May. 7,704 cases were reported on Sunday, the highest number in the city since December 24 last year.

Experts from the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, who currently produce the Sputnik V vaccine, have suggested the 'Moscow' variant could be behind the cities rise in cases, The Sun reports.

  • Pub renames itself 'The Two Helmets' in fresh dig at Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has vowed to re-purpose thousands of hospital beds in the city should they need them.

Moscow's residents have also been told to work from home to help prevent the spread.

Playgrounds, sports pitches and other outdoor attractions were shut down for a week from Sunday.

Speaking to the state-owned Russian news agency TASS, Deputy director Denis Logunov, said:

"Now we are monitoring [the situation] in Moscow, and most importantly, Moscow may still have its own Moscow strains."

Much like the UK's rules earlier in the pandemic, Moscow's bars and restaurants have been ordered to close no later than 11pm.

Mayor Sobyanin said: "This is only a temporary solution.

"To avoid new restrictions and secure a sustainable improvement of the situation, we need to significantly speed up vaccinations."

The head of the Gamaleya Institute Alexander Gintsburg has made it clear he believes the strain is not resistant to any jabs.

In an interview with Moscow Times, Mr Gintsburg said: "We think that the vaccine will be effective, but we must wait for the study results."

Several variants have emerged around the UK since the beginning of the pandemic.

Coronaviruses are known to evolve and change.

Two notable recent ones include the Kent 'Alpha' variant and the Delta variant – formerly known as the India variant.

Strains were found in Brazil and South Africa too.

The Delta variant can double the risk of hospital admission.

  • Google Earth users spot 'UFO surrounded by tanks' in wild conspiracy theory

Scientists found that two vaccines give strong protection against the Delta variant, which is now the dominant strain in the UK.

A Scottish study found that out of 19,543 community cases, 7,723 of those were infected with the variant.

The same study showed that out of 377 hospital admissions, 134 were infected with Delta.

Like all other variants of coronavirus, those with underlying health conditions are more at risk.

Source: Read Full Article