Staunton, June 8 – In the absence of a legal requirement for vaccinations against the coronavirus, regional officials in Russia are finding that nothing works to overcome the opposition of many Russians to getting the shots, neither existing administrative resources nor even promises to give prizes (eastrussia.ru/material/immunitet-k-vaktsinatsii/).
As a result, vaccination rates remain low, in the single digits in the North Caucasus and only approaching 30 percent in the best case, Chukotka in the Russian Far East (regnum.ru/news/society/3287593.htmlregnum.ru/news/3291565.html and regnum.ru/news/3291543.html).
One new tactic both to encourage people to get shots and to resume their public activities is the appearance of signs in some businesses saying that “our employees are vaccinated (regnum.ru/news/3291269.html). But these aren’t having a major effect. East of the Urals, the situation has deteriorated (regnum.ru/news/3290839.html and nazaccent.ru/content/35878-ysyah-v-yakutii-otmetyat-v-zaochnom.html).
Indeed, for the country as a whole, today Russia approach 10,000 infections for the first time since March. Officials reported registering 9977 new cases of infection and 379 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours, with new spikes in Moscow and St. Petersburg leading the way (t.me/COVID2019_official/3028
The Duma passed a measure including the coronavirus vaccine in the list of vaccines Russians are supposed to get annually, but in doing so, it specified that the measure does not impose a requirement that they do so. The only change is that now the shots will be paid for out of the regular budget rather than from reserve funds (regnum.ru/news/3291418.html and nakanune.ru/articles/117079/
Elsewhere on the vaccine front, experts say conspiracy theorists are only encouraging people to remain unvaccinated (mk.ru/social/2021/06/08/glavnye-feyki-o-koronaviruse-vakcinu-ronyayut-iz-organizma.html), epidemiologists are predicting that people will need to be revaccinated every six months (ng.ru/health/2021-06-08/8_8168_vaccination.html), and some locations are running short or completely out of the vaccine (nakanune.ru/news/2021/6/8/22604693/).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
Moscow’s Buddhist community carried out a ritual designed to expel the virus from Russia (asiarussia.ru/news/27826/
· And commentators say the pandemic is hanging over the Duma election campaign but is not yet having a clear impact one way or the other (vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2021/06/08/873461-v-koronavirus).