An online event was conducted by Counsellor to the Rector Yury Alaev.
His guests were Chief Epidemiologist of the Ministry of Health of Tatarstan Dmitry Lopushov and Director of the Center for Precision and Regenerative Medicine (Kazan Federal University) Albert Rizvanov.
Dr. Rizvanov explained what the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine, registered by Gamaleya Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, essentially is, “It’s a sort of a ‘genetic flash drive’ which the cell uses to read instructions and synthesize the programmed proteins, in this case virus proteins. The organism can detect such proteins as alien and can produce an immune response to the. Basically it’s an instruction for the organism to produce the vaccine by itself.”
Dmitry Lopushov reminded of the importance of vaccination. He specifically mentioned that combined infection by COVID-19 and seasonal flu can have dire consequences. Asked about whether or not the risk groups, such as physicians and educators, can opt out of vaccination, he again emphasized that the procedure is strictly voluntary.
Albert Rizvanov interpolated, “I personally would be interested in receiving a vaccine that gets registered in Russia. If someone is so lucky as to be offered a vaccine shot, I’d suggest doing that.”
He also spoke about Kazan University’s own research of a COVID vaccine, “We started from a DNA vaccine – pure DNA with two genes of coronavirus inserted in a cell. It worked perfectly in cells. But when we started testing on animals, it turned out that the vaccine is not sufficiently effective, and not all animals acquired immunity. It’s not good or bad, it’s just what happens. Creating a vaccine is just the tip of the iceberg; proving its effectiveness and safety is 90 percent of the work. Generally, the safer a vaccine is, the least effective it is. However, we simultaneously started working on a second version of the vaccine. We have a prototype, and we are launching animal testing in September.”
Source text: Larisa Busil
Photos: Alexander Kuznetsov
Translation: Yury Nurmeev