The high rate of vaccination against coronavirus infection can reduce the likelihood of new strains that are resistant to existing vaccines. This opinion was expressed in an interview with TASS by the head of the branch of the “Vector” center in Yekaterinburg, Alexander Semyonov.
“The sooner the population is vaccinated, the sooner the epidemic stops, the faster the evolutionary process of the coronavirus ends, the less the likelihood of the emergence of the so-called vaccine-escaping variant of the virus,” Semenov explained.
The specialist also agreed with the opinion of the head of the WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus, that new mutations in COVID-19 contribute to the emergence of a more dangerous variant of the coronavirus.
Earlier, Sergei Netesov, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of the Laboratory of Bionanotechnology, Microbiology and Virology at NSU, announced the need to vaccinate more than 80% of the population due to the spread of the “delta” variant of the coronavirus.
The academician calculated that the Wuhan version of COVID-19 has a reproductive number (the number of people who will be infected with one sick person) is 2.5-3, and the Indian version of the virus is 5-6 compared to the influenza virus (from 1 to 1.5). “Therefore, in order to achieve population immunity against the delta variant, more than 80% of the population must be vaccinated,” Netesov said.
He also suggested that if vaccination is delayed “by two or three years,” the virus will overtake vaccines.