Staunton, January 17 – Despite promises that the Russian government will give priority to vaccinating Russians, Moscow has in fact continued to send large amounts of its vaccine abroad for profit. In fact, as of now, it has sent more vaccine to just one country – Argentina – than to all of Russia outside of Moscow (zona.media/article/2021/01/17/rossiabezsputnika).
Also today, a study appeared showing that the willingness of Russians to get the vaccine when they can depends on how much they trust the authorities. Those that do will; those that don’t say they won’t (themoscowtimes.com/2021/01/15/russians-see-sputnik-v-vaccine-as-kremlin-prestige-project-a72626).
As the pandemic continues to ebb and flow across Russia, Moscow officials announced that they have registered 23,586 new cases of infection and 481 new coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours (https://t.me/COVID2019_official/2362 and regnum.ru/news/society/3160299.html).
Meanwhile, and despite promises to the contrary, some in Moscow are pressing for the government to make getting the vaccine mandatory for all Russians (ura.news/news/1052467360) or, at the very least, requiring that members of at-risk groups be compelled to do so (regnum.ru/news/3165088.html).
A major reason for this apparent shift is that Russian experts say that the WHO prediction that the next year of the pandemic will be even harder than the one just passed and that without massive vaccinations the consequences will be deadly both for the population and the economy (capost.media/views/vtoroy-god-pandemii-koronavirusa-budet-tyazhelee-pervogo/).
On the economic front, the news was equally dire. Standard&Poors said it was reviewing with an eye to lowering Russia’s sovereign debt rating because Moscow will likely run serious budget deficits for the next three years, face tougher American sanctions, and will recover far more slowly than Western countries (krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/83102).
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