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Russia lags behind other countries to push for COVID-19 vaccination

MOSCOW (AP) – While at the Park House mall in north Moscow, Vladimir Makarov saw that the coronavirus vaccine was being offered to customers, so he asked to take it. How long

“It becomes easy here – 10 minutes,” he said of his experience last month.

But Makarov, like many Muscovites, still decided to stop shooting the Sputnik V.

Russia boasted last year that it was the first in the world to allow vaccination against the coronavirus. But now I find myself lagging behind in vaccination. That raises questions on whether authorities will meet ambitious goals of vaccinating more than 30 million of the 1

46 million people by mid-June and nearly 69 million by August.

Vaccination reluctance arises as a photo shoot in the capital for everyone aged 18 and over at more than 200 public and private clinics, shopping malls, food courts, hospitals – even theaters.

As of mid-April, more than 1 million residents of Moscow, 12.7 million, or about 8%, were fired at least once, although the campaign began in December.

The percentage was similar for Russia as a whole.As of April 27, only 12.1 million had received at least one vaccination, and only 7.7 million, or 5%, had been fully vaccinated. That puts Russia the most behind the US, with 43% getting fired at least once and the EU almost 27%.

Alexander Dragan, an analyst for vaccination followers across Russia, said last week the country is giving people a picture. 200,000-205,000 people per day to reach the target in mid-June need to almost double.

“We have to start vaccinating 370,000 people a day, like tomorrow,” Dragan told The Associated Press.

To increase demand, Moscow authorities began to offer coupons worth 1000 rubles ($ 13) to more than 60 vaccinated people, not small sums for those receiving monthly pensions of about 20,000 rubles. M (260 dollars)

Still, it didn’t generate much enthusiasm, some elderly Muscovites told the AP it was difficult to register online for coupons or find groceries that accept them.

Other regions also offer incentives. Officers in Chukotka, crossing the Bering Strait from Alaska, promised seniors 2,000 rubles for vaccination, while the neighboring Magadan region offered 1,000 rubles in a theater in St. Peter. Sesberg offers a discounted ticket for those showing a certificate of vaccination.

Russia’s lagging rate of vaccination depends on a number of factors, including supply. Russian drugmakers slowed mass production and there were shortages in March in several regions.

So far, only 28 million of the three vaccines have been produced in Russia, with Sputnik V accounting for most vaccines, and only 17.4 million have been released into circulation after being regulated. quality

The waiting list for filming is still long in place in the Sverdlovsk region, the fifth most populous country in Russia, 178,000 on the waiting list by mid-April, Yekaterina Yutyaeva, Deputy Regional Health Minister. Said to the AP

On April 28, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there was enough vaccine available in Russia and added that demand was a factor determining the country’s vaccination rates.

Another factor in the Russians’ reluctance to the Sputnik V is the fact that it was released, although large-scale testing to ensure its safety and efficacy continues. But a study published in the British medical journal The Lancet in February said the vaccine was safe and highly effective against COVID-19, according to trials involving approximately 20,000 people in Russia.

A February poll by the leading independent Russian surveyor Levada Center showed that only 30% of respondents were willing to get Sputnik V, one of three domestically produced vaccines. The survey had a 3.4 percent discrepancy.

Dragan, a data analyst, said one possible explanation for the reluctance was a description from officials that they tamed the outbreak, although that assessment might have been premature.

As most of the virus restrictions were lifted and government officials praised the Kremlin’s response to the outbreak, few were motivated to get the shot, he said, citing the attitude that “if an outbreak” would be the case. It’s over, why do I have to get vaccinated? ”

Vasily Vlassov, a public health expert at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, echoed the sentiments of Dragan, and also pointed out inconsistent signals from officials and the media.

“The Russians of 2020 will be bombarded with conflicting messages, first of all. (The coronavirus) was harmless and just a cold, then a serious infection, ”he told the AP.“ Then they were barred from leaving the house. ”

Another lecture, he said, is that foreign vaccines are dangerous. But the Russian-made vaccine did not produce it.State TV reported adverse reactions linked to Western vaccines while celebrating Sputnik V.’s international success.

Appropriate media campaigns to promote vaccination did not begin on state TV until late March, Observers and News reports said. Videos on Channel 1’s national network have celebrities and other public figures talking about their experiences. But it has not been shown that they were injected. President Vladimir Putin said he received the picture at the same time. But not on camera

“A successful ground for conspiracy theorists,” said Dragan, who works in marketing.

Social anthropologist Alexandra Arkhipova said there were rumors of the alleged dangers of vaccination on social media in December.

The rumors combined with other factors – trolling on Russian TV, vaccination issues, and the irregular launch of promotional campaigns to thwart the immunization push, Arkhipova told the AP.

Meanwhile, Vlassov noted that the outbreak in Russia is not over and there are still signs of growing.

“There are now the same number of infections every day in Russia in May, when the epidemic was at its peak,” he said, adding that there were twice the deaths of the previous year.

Government statistics say the infections are around 8,000-9,000 people per day across the country, with 300-400 deaths every day, but there has been a steady increase in new cases in Moscow in recent months. This was higher than 3,000 in the last week for the first time since January.

Infection rates rose in seven regions, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said anonymously on April 23, she blamed “insufficient vaccination rates” in some places.

Still, the abundance of vaccines available in Moscow are attracting foreigners who cannot get vaccinated at home. A group of Germans made their first jerk at their hotel last month.

Uwe Keim, a 46-year-old developer from Stuttgart, told the AP that he believes “there is more vaccine available in Russia than people here need.”


Kostya Manenkov and Anatoly Kozlov in Moscow and Yulia Alexeyeva in Yekaterinburg were involved.


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