Staunton, May 25 – Despite having been the first country to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus, Russia now ranks 60th among the countries of the world in terms of the number of its residents who have received the shots, the Academy of Sciences says (regnum.ru/news/society/3279144.html).
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin says the situation in Russia with respect to the pandemic is worrisome and that by the fall, the country needs to push up its vaccination program so that 60 percent of the adult population will have been fully vaccinated by the fall (regnum.ru/news/3278475.html and regnum.ru/news/3278781.html).
Russian officials reported registering today 7884 new cases of infection and 393 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours, with deaths up significantly in St. Petersburg while infections were down by an even larger percentage in Moscow (t.me/COVID2019_official/2976, regnum.ru/news/3278639.html and regnum.ru/news/society/3277253.html
Also this week, Moscow officials began releasing ever more statistics on the impact of the coronavirus on the Russian economy last year both in the regions and for the country as a whole (idelreal.org/a/31262950.html and iq.hse.ru/news/472846088.html). These data sets open the way for a reassessment of earlier Russian government claims.
On the vaccine front, the Duma took up a measure to make covid shots part of the regular sequence of vaccinations in the country, and Sakha imposed a mandatory vaccination requirement on those employed in government and private businesses, a step some other regions reportedly are considering but Moscow officials oppose (sozd.duma.gov.ru/bill/1179765-7, vedomosti.ru/society/articles/2021/05/25/871329-yakutiya-vaktsinatsii, regnum.ru/news/society/3279594.html, vz.ru/society/2021/5/25/1101031.html and realtribune.ru/v-mosgordume-vystupili-protiv-prinuditelnoj-vakcinacii).
Moscow and the West again traded charges that the other was conducting a vaccine war for commercial and political advantage (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2021/05/25/smi-sviazannoe-s-rossiei-agentstvo-prosilo-evropeiskikh-blogerov-zapisat-diskreditiruiushchie-video-o-vaktsine-pfizer-biontech and stoletie.ru/lenta/zaharova_zajavila_o_vakcinnoj_vojne_jes_protiv_rossii_214.htm).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Officials organizing the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum say they are imposing new restrictions in order to prevent it from becoming a super-spreader event (regnum.ru/news/society/3279109.html).
· As a result of the pandemic, a new poll finds, 69 percent of Russians are paying more attention to their own health generally (regnum.ru/news/3278480.html).
· Moscow announced that it has begun to inoculate animals against the coronavirus (ria.ru/20210526/zhivotnye-1734277816.html).