Thursday, September 3, 2020

Moscow Mayor’s Getting Vaccine Out of Turn Exacerbating Relations between Center and Regions

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 2 – When the Russian government announced that it had a new vaccine, it also said that the distribution of the medication would be regulated by the central authorities and even specified a list. But it has violated that list by allowing Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin to get vaccinated out of turn.

            That has infuriated many people in the regions beyond the ring road and sparked fears that they won’t see the vaccine until Moscow’s needed are satisfied, something that the URA news agency says is exacerbating relations between the central authorities and people and officials in the regions and republics (

            The first Russian vaccine continues to be tested. Some 10,000 people have agreed to the placebo but far fewer to receive the vaccine itself. According to medical experts, the test has been successful so far with no more side effects than one might have expected (, and

            Although there were no plans to test the vaccine on the elderly, the laboratory which came up with it has no tested it on 10 to 15 of its employees who are in their 70s or 80s ( and

            In a related development, Russian officials say that pharmaceutical companies in that country stand ready to produce vaccines developed elsewhere (
They also report that Russian firms have earned 2.5 billion rubles (30 million US dollars) exporting masks and other protective gear (

            Moscow officials reported that they have registered 4952 new cases of infection, bringing the cumulative total to 1,005,000 and 115 new deaths, upping that toll to 17,414 ( The pandemic continued to ebb and flow across the country with re-openings and re-closings both taking place (

Consumer protection agency officials visited schools to provide health instruction, and schools have told pupils not to share textbooks or other things so as to avoid spreading the virus ( and

Moscow predicts the number of poor in Russia is on pace to rise to 19.5 million (, Russian air carriers reported cumulative losses of 121 billion rubles (1.8 billion US dollars) (, and China cut back purchases of Russian oil last month (

Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,

·         The issue of reinfections continues to animate many Russians, but officials say they have only one documented case of that problem so far (

·         Because attending theater is still risky, actors and directors expect those who do come to be some of the toughest audiences they have ever faced (

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