Staunton, December 27 – Vladimir Putin has announced that now that all Russians of his age are being offered the coronavirus vaccine, he will get it; even as his press spokesman notes that the pandemic has not had any significant effect on the Kremlin leader’s work (regnum.ru/news/3152108.html and regnum.ru/news/3152147.html).
But Putin’s decision may not lead other Russians to get the vaccine as some immunologists perhaps hope. Skepticism remains widespread among Russians, and many are aware that the Sputnik- 5 medicine Putin reposes so much confidence it has not completed required testing for safety and effectiveness (charter97.org/ru/news/2020/12/27/405402/).
The pandemic continues to rage across Russia, with the authorities announcing the registration of 28,282 new cases of infection and 552 new deaths over the last 24 hours and with the MBC news agency saying that most Russian regions have tightened restrictions especially on the elderly (t.me/COVID2019_official/2266, regnum.ru/news/society/3148450.html and mbk-news.appspot.com/suzhet/kak-rossiya-budet-vstrechat-2021/).
On the medical front, the Gamaley Laboratories which developed the Sputnik-5 vaccine said they were now working on an analogue of the medications US doctors gave President Donald Trump after he contracted the virus (regnum.ru/news/3152043.html).
On the economic front, the pandemic has forced Moscow to postpone its international arms show until next year (echo.msk.ru/news/2764980-echo.html). And Superjob reports that 59 percent of Russians expect their incomes to rise next year (echo.msk.ru/news/2764876-echo.html).
Emergencies like the pandemic seem to bring out the best and worst of people. Every day brings stories of heroic actions by doctors, ambulance personnel and others who have gone above and beyond to try to save their fellow Russians from this silent enemy. But sometime, there are stories which highlight another aspect of the human condition.
Today, TASS reported and many sources picked up a tragic story of an elderly woman who was treated for coronavirus in a Voronezh hospital but died without having been given anything to eat for the last 15 days of her life (tass.ru/proisshestviya/10362373). An investigation has been launched into how this could have happened.
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