Staunton, April 3 – The percentage of Russians who are skeptical about the coronavirus and its dangers and thus who won’t get vaccinated against it has fallen from 43.4 percent in September 2020 to 25.7 percent now, according to polls conducted by Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (rbc.ru/society/29/03/2021/605df1b29a7947bc4044197a?from=column_40).
To the extent this trend continues and brings down the share of people in Russia who are skeptics down to levels found in other countries, the Russian Federation will have a far easier time reaching the level of vaccinations needed for the country to reach herd immunity later this year.
Today, Moscow reported registering 9071 new cases of infection and 384 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours. The latter was sufficient to bring the official cumulative total above 100,000 to 100,017, although most observers say that figure understates the losses (t.me/COVID2019_official/2715).
Russian officials also reported that more than three percent of all Russians have been vaccinated, although in outlying regions, fewer than one percent have completed their shots (rbc.ru/society/03/04/2021/606743bd9a79477e5e04370e). They also said that Russia had suffered 30,000 excess deaths in February 2021 (themoscowtimes.com/2021/04/03/coronavirus-in-russia-the-latest-news-april-3-a69117).
The pandemic continued to ebb and flow across the country, with some experts now predicting that a third wave of the pandemic will hit Russia beginning in mid-April (regnum.ru/news/society/3226201.html and regnum.ru/news/3233269.html).
The vaccine war continues abroad between Russia and Western producers with each side claiming victories in the form of sales or high levels of vaccination in particular countries (ritmeurasia.org/news--2021-04-03--tretja-mirovaja-vojna-vakcin-54012 and
On the economic front, studies show that during the pandemic, Russians have complained less and used their computers to look for work more than in the past (vtimes.io/2021/04/02/kak-lyudi-vstretili-koronakrizis-a4193kp.ru/daily/27260.5/4392489/).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· A health official who oversaw one of the regions with the highest levels of coronavirus infections and deaths was nonetheless awarded a medal for his contributions to the fight against the pandemic (regnum.ru/news/3233408.html).
· As a result of the pandemic, half of all doctor’s consultations are now online rather than in person (vedomosti.ru/technology/articles/2021/04/01/864298-vrachebnih-onlain).
· Kremlin experts say that the pandemic has led to a deterioration in human rights in the West as well as in Russia (vedomosti.ru/society/articles/2021/03/31/864079-kremlevskie-eksperti).