Staunton, May 21 – Only 10.8 percent of the residents of Moscow have been vaccinated, Mayor Sergey Sobyanin says, a lower share than in any other European city. He adds that the city’s percentage should have been twice what it is (sobyanin.ru/dialogi-s-lyudmi-vaktsinatsiya, vedomosti.ru/society/news/2021/05/21/870712-sobyanin-pozhalovalsya-na-nezhelanie-moskvichei-privivatsya-ot-koronavirusa and ehorussia.com/new/node/23508).
The share of vaccinated in St. Petersburg is only slightly higher, 11 percent, and analysts there say that the cause for the low levels lies in the extremely low level of public trust in the authorities, something they point out has long been true and not something that arose because of the pandemic or the vaccine (regnum.ru/news/3276347.html).
Sobyanin also reported that Muscovites have resisted efforts to control the pandemic. Over the last 14 months, police there have had to issue 1.3 million citations for violations of sanitary rules, a figure that is slightly greater than the number of residents in the capital who have been vaccinated (rbc.ru/society/21/05/2021/60a7cf409a79479eb644795d).
Russian officials today reported registering 8937 new cases of infection and 389 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours as the pandemic continued to ebb and flow across the country (t.me/COVID2019_official/2963and regnum.ru/news/society/3267667.html). Central government officials and regional ones diverged on how bad things are.
Federal officials said that the situation is now “stable,” but the head of Buryatia said that it was clear that Russia has now entered the third wave of the pandemic; and St. Petersburg, facing rising numbers, extended restrictions there from May 30 to July 12 (kp.ru/daily/27281.5/4416791/, regnum.ru/news/3275653.html and newsru.com/russia/21may2021/spbcovidmsrs.html).
On the vaccine front, officials across the country urged that Russians get vaccinated, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov demanded that the international community treat all vaccines equally, and others said that Russia’s Sputnik-5 vaccine is now being used in 35 countries of the world (regnum.ru/news/3276238.html, regnum.ru/news/3276106.html and regnum.ru/news/3276264.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Education officials said that they did not expect any deterioration in the quality of schooling despite distance learning (regnum.ru/news/3276325.html).
· A majority of Russians – 52 percent – say they now pay more attention to news about the coronavirus domestically and internationally than to reports about any other subject (regnum.ru/news/3275720.html).
· Regions in Russia are now competing with each other in offering prizes to those who get the vaccine: Yekaterinburg may be taking the lead in this by offering tickets to the circus (sobkorr.org/news/60A7A4D368A42.html).