Developer says Russia’s CoviVac COVID-19 vaccine effective against Delta variant

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The developer of CoviVac, one of Russia’s vaccines against COVID-19, said on Wednesday it is effective against the highly infectious Delta variant, TASS news agency reported.

Russia is trying to contain a rise in cases and deaths and has introduced mandatory vaccination in Moscow and some other regions for a wide group of citizens, mainly using Sputnik V, Russia’s flagship shot, the first of four domestic vaccines to be registered.

Aidar Ishmukhametov, general director of the centre that developed CoviVac, said studies had showed it was equally effective against the Delta strain as against the Alpha strain of the virus.

The developer in early June said CoviVac was more than 80% effective against COVID-19.

Russia’s coronavirus task force said on Wednesday 725 people had died of coronavirus-linked causes in the past 24 hours, just shy of the record daily rise in deaths, and taking the national death toll to 140,041.

The federal statistics agency has kept a separate count and has said Russia recorded around 270,000 deaths related to COVID-19 from April 2020 to April 2021.

There were 23,962 new COVID-19 cases, including 5,621 in Moscow, where 1.8 million people of more than 12 million inhabitants have now received two doses of a vaccine, Interfax cited city officials as saying on Wednesday.