Staunton, March 28 – Moscow is marking the 100th day since it began vaccinating people against the coronavirus by announcing that it has given 10.6 million shots to Russians. That amounts to just over 100,000 a day and puts that country on course to vaccinate all of its residents in August 2024 (sprotyv.info/analitica/koronavirus-v-rf-moshh-ne-imejushhej-analogov-vakciny-ili-o-magii-cifr).
Also today, the Russian government announced that it had registered 9088 new cases of infection and 336 new deaths over the last 24 hours, the former figure up slightly, the latter down, as the pandemic ebbs and flows in various parts of the country (t.me/COVID2019_official/2676 and regnum.ru/news/society/3226201.html).
Vladimir Putin, having finally gotten the vaccine, said he felt no need to “ape” other politicians by being photographed when he received the shots. At the same time, he now says that getting the shot is “necessary,” raising the question of just how long vaccinations will be voluntary in Russia (regnum.ru/news/3227313.html and regnum.ru/news/3227281.html).
The Kremlin leader also said that he thinks Russia will reach herd immunity as far as the coronavirus is concerned by the end of summer and at that point all current restrictions against the spread of the virus can be lifted within the country (regnum.ru/news/3227271.html).
Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that the international community would achieve even more rapid success if it united in the fight against the pandemic but that efforts intended to promote such cooperation were being blocked by the United States (regnum.ru/news/3227277.html).
One place where Russian sales of the Sputnik-5 vaccine have run into trouble is Brazil, where local officials have again postponed giving it clearance for use because Russian officials have again failed to provide the kind of documentation that Brazil requires (echo.msk.ru/news/2812196-echo.html).
Meanwhile, in economic news, Anton Lyubich of Business Russia says that the decision of the Central Bank to end certain benefits to business borrowers now that the pandemic is easing will spark a wave of bankruptcy in the near future (ura.news/news/1052477813).