The Russian president also stressed that the current level of immunisation (around 56 percent) is not enough, as Russia should aim for 90-95 percent.
The statement confirms preliminary reports from the Russian Direct Investment Fund saying that Sputnik V "has demonstrated 3-7x less of a reduction in virus-neutralising activity against Omicron
as compared to data from other vaccine producers".
In the meantime, Anna Popova, head of the Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, said that the strain is currently not dominant in Russia. According to her, data from African countries shows that the variant is highly transmissible, but the course of the disease is not as grave as for other COVID-19 strains.
The Omicron was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana in November and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO said it was a variant of concern and warned that it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other strains.