Staunton, June 5 – Ever more Russians, including both health specialists and ordinary citizens, are raising questions about the second Russian vaccine, EpiVakKorona, and are suggesting that Moscow is more concerned about defending the reputation of the vaccine than about defending the health of Russians (newizv.ru/news/society/05-06-2021/reputatsiya-ili-zdorovie-aktivisty-prosyat-proverit-vaktsinu-vektoraand newizv.ru/interview/05-06-2021/virusolog-altsheyn-ispolzovanie-epivakkorona-dolzhno-byt-ostanovleno-do-proverki).
This trend is only adding to general resistance to vaccinations, with polls showing more than 60 percent of Russians don’t want to get the shots and an increasing number saying that it doesn’t matter whether one is vaccinated or not as far as one’s future health is concerned (svpressa.ru/health/article/300372/).
Unless there is a sea change in attitudes or massive infections from which many will recover, it will be virtually impossible for Russia to meet Vladimir Putin’s target of 60 percent immunity among Russians by September unless the shots become mandatory (ura.news/news/1052488339 and regnum.ru/news/3289144.html).
Today, Russian officials reported registering 9145 new cases of infection and 399 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours, with some regions showing almost no infections at all but Moscow now at a level not seen since last summer (t.me/COVID2019_official/3017 regnum.ru/news/society/3287593.html and mbk-news.appspot.com/suzhet/koronavirus-v-nekotoryh-regionah/
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Brazil became the 67th country to approve the use of Russia’s Sputnik-5 vaccine (sputnikvaccine.com/rus/newsroom/pressreleases/braziliya-stala-67-y-stranoy-gde-odobreno-primenenie-vaktsiny-sputnik-v/).
· Bishop Arkady, who had served as a priest following his retirement from the higher post, died of coronavirus at the age of 78, making him one of the most senior Russian churchmen to die in the pandemic (patriarchia.ru/db/text/5817071.html).
· And an Orenburg judge refused to allow an Orthodox parishioner there to exorcize a local church. The judge cited pandemic restrictions in denying Denis Verkashantsev’s request (sova-center.ru/religion/news/amusing-incidents/2021/06/d44340/).