Staunton, April 26 – Former president Dmitry Medvedev says that one of the reasons that the drive to meet Vladimir Putin’s plan for the vaccination of 70 million Russians against the coronavirus is that hospitals and clinics do not have enough refrigerators to store the vaccine at required temperatures (kp.ru/daily/27269/4404498/
Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova says that no new restrictions are planned for the extended May holiday and adds that children will be able to go to camps anywhere in Russia regardless of their place of residence (regnum.ru/news/3253730.html and regnum.ru/news/3253501.html).
Meanwhile, a new poll finds that a third of Russians believe they have already been infected with the coronavirus and don’t fear a repeat, while one in seven of all Russians still fears being infected (newizv.ru/news/society/26-04-2021/ustali-boyatsya-kazhdyy-tretiy-rossiyanin-schitaet-chto-uzhe-perebolel-covid-19).
On the vaccine front, the government said almost 12 million Russians have received the first dose of the vaccine and 7.5 million have received the complete series (regnum.ru/news/3253716.html). Despite government efforts, the percentages in St. Petersburg are only slightly higher (regnum.ru/news/3253789.html).
Moscow says it will deliver the first shipment of vaccines to India in early May (regnum.ru/news/3253880.html), but Brazil now says it won’t reship the Russian vaccine to other countries because of a lack of data on its safety and efficacy (themoscowtimes.com/2021/04/26/coronavirus-in-russia-the-latest-news-april-26-a69117).
On the economic front, confusion reigns over what will be open and what closed and when during the extended holidays in May (bfm.ru/news/470693). Private clinics expect their incomes to plummet during that period (vtimes.io/2021/04/26/chastnie-kliniki-zhdut-snizhenie-sprosa-na-15-iz-za-prodleniya-maiskih-a4716
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Bashkortostan has issued buttons for those who have been vaccinated to wear in order to promote the shots (regnum.ru/news/3253650.html).
· Officials say Sputnik-Lite will be registered during the May holidays and quickly become available after that (regnum.ru/news/3253370.html).
· The SOVA Center has published a comprehensive list of the steps religious groups in Russia have taken over the past year to deal with the pandemic (sova-center.ru/religion/news/authorities/karantin/2020/10/d43048/).