In Russia, a coronavirus vaccine administered orally to animals in the form of yogurt has had a successful antibody response, the RIA Novosti news agency revealed on Tuesday. The drug is being developed by the Institute of Molecular Medicine, located in the city of Saint Petersburg.
"The immune response on the mucous membranes of laboratory animals is outstanding, and specific antibodies are formed on the mucous membranes and in the blood," Alexánder Sovorov, director of the institution's department of molecular microbiology, explained during a virtual conference. "Because the vaccine is administered by mouth, the maximum immune response occurs in the mucous membranes, which is why (the vaccine) is called mucosal," he added. However, the expert did not reveal the species of animals used in the experiment.
Previously, the vice president of the Russian Academy of Sciences and head of the section of Medical and Biological Sciences of that entity, Vladimir Chejonin, revealed that the Institute of Experimental Medicine in Saint Petersburg was conducting preclinical trials of an unusual vaccine against coronavirus, which can be taken in the form of yogurt.
Problems verifying real protection against the virus
Despite the promising results obtained, Chejonin recognizes that scientists now face a relevant problem: how to verify that the vaccine protects against a real contagion of the virus since they do not have adequate facilities. "At the moment, this investigation cannot be carried out; there is no possibility in St. Petersburg. To protect laboratory animals, these tests must be carried out in a minimal space, in unique places, now we are waiting our turn," he said.
Russia already vaccinated against Coronavirus
Russia is the fourth country in the world most affected by the pandemic, with a total of 2.59 million infections and 45,893 deaths from coronavirus as of December 11. The country has already begun to administer its first registered vaccine, Sputnik V, advising those who receive the first of the two doses not to see alcohol until 56 days after being vaccinated, not to alter the results. Reuters reported, Tatiana Golikova, in charge of the operating nationwide, said last Friday, "Vaccinated individuals should also avoid public places and reduce the intake of drugs." Besides, people who have been vaccinated against the flu will have to wait a minimum of 30 days to apply the drug against Covid-19.