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COVID-19: Is there a 'Moscow strain'? Sputnik V vaccine maker believes so

The Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, which developed COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, is studying the effectiveness of the jab against the new strain.

Gamaleya head Alexander Gintsburg said he believes that the strain is not resistant to COVID-19 jabs. Gamaleya head Alexander Gintsburg said he believes that the strain is not resistant to COVID-19 jabs.

There may be a new mutant of coronavirus in Russia's capital Moscow, so-called "Moscow strain", which may be behind the recent spike in cases in the city.

The Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, which developed COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, is studying the effectiveness of the jab against the new strain, as per Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti.

"Now we are monitoring (the situation) in Moscow, and most importantly, Moscow may still have its own Moscow strains," Gamaleya Deputy Director Denis Logunov was quoted as saying. This led to the usage of term 'Moscow strain' for the new virus.

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The Russian capital has seen its COVID-19 cases double in the past week, which has led to speculations that the new strain could be behind this.

While there is very little information available about the strain, Gamaleya head Alexander Gintsburg said he believes that the strain is not resistant to COVID-19 jabs.

On Wednesday, Russia reported 13,397 new COVID-19 cases, with Moscow reporting 5,782 new cases.

Amidst the rise in new cases and vaccine hesitancy, city authorities in Moscow on Wednesday announced that all workers with public facing roles will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Only 12 per cent Russians have been inoculated against the virus so far.

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