Russian scientist warns COVID-19 is more insidious than we know it

About 10-15% of those who went through severe forms of COVID-19 may come across an insidious peculiarity of the virus, Alexander Ginzburg, the head of the Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology said.

"Now, the more we learn about the pathogenic mechanism of this pathogen, the more we understand that it is becoming increasingly insidious," the scientist said.

According to Ginzburg, COVID-19 may trigger the production of antibodies to interferon - a protective protein that is secreted in the body to fight different types of viruses. This process may occur in those who experienced severe forms of coronavirus disease. Interferon blocks "not only the secondary immune response, but even the innate immune response," the scientist said.

Russia develops 26 vaccines against COVID-19

The Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, in cooperation with the Defence Ministry of Russia, worked on the vaccine against COVID-19. The vaccine was named "Sputnik V". The clinical trials of the vaccine developed by the medical institution began on June 17 at Sechenov University and the military hospital named after Burdenko (Moscow). According to the Ministry of Health, the university tested the vaccine in the form of a powder, which is used for making a solution for intramuscular administration, while the hospital tested liquid vaccine for intramuscular administration.

On August 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Sputnik V passed the registration procedure and became the world's first vaccine to receive this status. The vaccine has already entered civil circulation and is undergoing the third stage of clinical trials with the participation of as many as 40,000 volunteers. Some of them will be administered a placebo, rather than the vaccine itself.

In the near future, the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation is to approve another vaccine against COVID-19 - EpiVacCorona, developed by the Vector Center. According to Russian consumer safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, the drug will be registered in October 2020. A total of 26 coronavirus vaccines are currently being developed in Russia.

According to the operational headquarters for the fight against the spread of coronavirus infection, Russia has as many as 1.326 million COVID-19 infections, 1.031 million of them fully recovered, nearly 23,000 people died. According to the American Johns Hopkins University, 37.8 million people fell ill with COVID-19 worldwide, more than one million people died. Russia is ranked fourth in the world in terms of the number of coronavirus infections.