Saturday, April 10, 2021

Controversy with Slovakia Undercuts Moscow’s Efforts to Promote Sale of Its Vaccine Abroad

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 8 – The Slovak government said that the vaccine Moscow had sent to that country differed in fundamental ways from the one the Russian authorities have described in international medical journals and to the European Union. Russian officials responded by accusing the Slovaks of waging “a disinformation campaign” against Sputnik-5 ( and

            Given that Russia is engaged in a massive effort to sell its vaccine abroad, including to EU countries, any such stories necessarily make potential purchasers more reluctant to use the Russian vaccine ( and

            Today, Moscow reported registering 8672 new cases of infection and 365 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours, as the pandemic continued to ease in most but not all places ( and

            As the numbers of infections, hospitalizations and deaths from the pandemic have dropped, officials in many places have come under increasing pressure to lift restrictions and reopen various public venues. Some have moved too quickly and the result has been a series of still-local spikes (

            Among the restrictions most likely to be lifted in the next few weeks are those against attendance at parades and especially the Victory Day celebrations. Today, Krasnodar became the first city planning such an event to declare that far more people will be allowed to attend than the pandemic rules had allowed up to now (

            On the vaccine front, Moscow’s massive shipments of vaccine to hard-hit St. Petersburg have pushed that city’s vaccination rates higher, with eight percent of residents now having gotten at least one shot and 5.7 percent the full, two-shot course (

            One region that is still running short is the Far Eastern Federal District. Many of its oblasts, krays and republics do not yet have enough medication to meet demand. The presidential plenipotentiary says that about 10 percent of the district’s residents have been vaccinated ( and

            And in Daghestan, Muslim leaders announced that they would conduct public information programs inside mosques there to promote the vaccine (

            On the economic front, officials announced that beauty salons had been one of the most hard-hit consumer sectors during the pandemic year. Shops have suffered losses of up to 40 percent and a quarter of the outlets have closed their doors for good (

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

·         Officials pressed Russians to take their vacations within the country rather than risk travelling abroad and bringing infections back with them (

·         Doctors reported an increasing number of incidents which they are calling post-covid syndrome involving memory loss and frequent tiredness among those who have recovered from the infection ( and

·         A Moscow courier was arrested when it was discovered that he was distributing fake vaccination certificates in the Russian capital (

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