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A top Russian scientist discussed the race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 in an exclusive interview with RT in Moscow on July 23.
Head of Sechenov University’s Institute for Translational Medicine and Biotechnology, Vadim Tarasov, explained that the logic behind producing the vaccine first is purely humanistic, not political. Earlier in July, the Sechenov University announced that the first phase of clinical trials for a vaccine had been a success.

SOT, Vadim Tarasov, Head of Sechenov University’s Institute for Translational Medicine and Biotechnology (Russian): “To be the first in this field is also a part of a political agenda but the bottom line of this research is who will be the first to help people who need medication. The faster we produce an effective vaccine for the industrial-scale processing, the faster we fight off coronavirus. Perhaps it’s not entirely correct to raise the issue of satisfying political ambitions or [striving] to be the first. It is important to help people and prevent the spread of the pandemic.”
SOT, Vadim Tarasov: “Russian hackers are mentioned for many past years ascribing a lot to them. One could think that they rule the world and influence everything: elections, all kinds of data, every bank, and so on. It is ridiculous. I would like to stress that nobody needs a hacker when a profound basis and proprietary systems are present. It is our technological possibilities that are needed to be protected from opponents and sometimes partners.”
SOT, Vadim Tarasov: “It is a new kind of infection, the results of its study are only six months old. It means that the period of time passed is absolutely insufficient for long-time conclusions on the stability of the immunity of a person coming through coronavirus. We have information that protective bodies vanish. On the other hand, we cannot say for sure if people gain a nonspecific immunity after recovery from a COVID infection or can they be infected again. It is possible that we will have that information after the second wave of the pandemic. Many cases of recontamination were proved wrong. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible for modern science to give a credible answer. I suppose that in the next few months we may solve this question. We may need another six months or a year to observe.”
SOT, Vadim Tarasov: “Russian vaccine produces several kinds of immunity. This matter is still under study, the results are expected in the nearest future. It is not that simple as a non-specialist may think, to observe, experiment, receive a result, conclude. We also must pay attention to statistics when a certain number of tests repeat certain periods of time. We may be able to talk about a certain level of probability of production of immunity after accurate statistical processing of the test data. Whether the immunity is produced after single or double ingestion and how strong it is. All that and many other things we will know after the statistical test processing.”
SOT, Vadim Tarasov: “The virus mutates. Immunity must anyhow help to come through illness easier. It will be much easier to treat people with mild and symptomless cases of the illness. What is the main difficulty? It is the most dangerous when the virus takes severe forms at the time of mass contamination. If only mild and symptomless cases exist, people gain community immunity and the virus stops to exist. If the vaccine could help to come through the illness without symptoms, that would solve the problem.”

SOT, Vadim Tarasov: “The vaccination will be fulfilled on a voluntary basis and will firstly be recommended for people in risk groups: for the medical staff whose immunity is vital to stay alive and to protect patients from contamination. I also think it includes diplomatic personnel and other people whose occupation is connected with constant moving and numerous contacts. I think that some of them will volunteer to participate in tests and to be the first vaccinated.”

Video ID: 20200727-028
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