Staunton, April 2 – After it invented a coronavirus vaccine, Moscow signed contracts with a variety of foreign pharmaceutical companies to produce it because its domestic capacity was too small and because it wanted to produce enough to profit by selling it to other countries. But now it is importing some of this production not only to meet demand but to encourage it.
Russians remain extremely skeptical of the vaccine produced in Russia, and the Kremlin hopes that by bringing in Sputnik-5 produced abroad, it can reassure Russians that it is safe and effective and that those who now are reluctant to get the vaccine will change their minds (regnum.ru/news/3232980.html and ura.news/articles/1036282127
The pandemic continued to ebb and flow across the country, with some places seeing a new rise because people are no longer taking necessary steps to protect themselves (regnum.ru/news/society/3226201.htmlregnum.ru/news/3232946.html). Elsewhere officials are often extending restrictions they had imposed earlier.
Evaluating progress is difficult. St. Petersburg today reported it had made progress on all measures except deaths, but the latter claim was then challenged by a local news agency which said deaths among the city’s residents were in fact going up (regnum.ru/news/3232249.html and echo.msk.ru/news/2815554-echo.html
The head of the Gamaley laboratory which developed the Sputnik-5 vaccine said that Russia will inoculate 60 percent of its residents by the end of summer but that it will not be able to achieve a complete victory over the coronavirus anytime this year (regnum.ru/news/3232456.html and regnum.ru/news/3232435.html).
Elsewhere on the vaccine front, the EpiVakKorona vaccine began being sent to the regions for mass use (echo.msk.ru/news/2815028-echo.html), and officials said the final testing of the Sputnik-5 vaccine would be completed in the middle of June (regnum.ru/news/3232435.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Muslim leaders announced that all mosques in Russia will be open during Ramadan, from April 12 to May 12 (echo.msk.ru/news/2815384-echo.html).
· Russian researchers say they have made two breakthroughs: they now have developed a medication for the coronavirus from human antibodies, and they have found a way to update the vaccine as new strains become available (kp.ru/daily/27260.5/4392260/
· And because the ban on evictions ended on April 1, Russians who don’t pay their rent are again facing eviction (krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/84620).