Moscow [Russia], August 27 (ANI/Sputnik): Virologists at the Moscow State University (MSU) are studying the efficacy of developing a seasonal vaccine to battle both COVID-19 and the flu simultaneously, Professor Olga Karpova, the head of the Virology Department of the Biological Faculty at the MSU, told Sputnik.
"Yes, of course, and we have already proposed this option. We can make a seasonal [vaccine]. If, and this is a high probability, the coronavirus will remain with us at least for several seasons, then we are ready. We have the [building blocks] and, moreover, we have already been engaged in the development of a vaccine against influenza. That is, we can literally... put the blocks together and get such a vaccine," Karpova said, answering the question of whether it is possible to create a substance that allows vaccination against influenza and coronavirus at the same time.
She also added that in case of funding approval, the vaccine against multiple strains of coronaviruses -- polyvalent vaccine -- that Moscow State University is working on maybe about six months away from clinical trials.
"We have a polyvalent vaccine, that is, we have universal antigens that will - I hope, I do not have accurate data yet - prevent re-infection even with some genetic changes in the virus," Karpova said.
However, Karpova explained that the longer-term effects of MSU's samples are not yet known, meaning they may not even reach the pretrial stage if any harmful aspects are established.
On August 11, the Russian government officially registered Sputnik V as the world's first vaccine against COVID-19. Though the vaccine is still underway with the third -- last -- phase of clinical trials, as per the protocols of the World Health Organisation, Russian health officials said it had proven the capability to produce stable immunity against the coronavirus. (ANI/Sputnik)