Thursday, June 10, 2021

Regional Officials Find Nothing Works to Overcome Russians’ Resistance to Vaccinations

Paul Goble

            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 (

            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 ( Moreover, officials are still having to beg pensioners to get the shots and admit that only about one percent of university students have so far received them ( and

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 ( But these aren’t having a major effect. East of the Urals, the situation has deteriorated ( and

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 (

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 ( and

Nonetheless, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky suggested that Russia is on its way to making the vaccination mandatory given that so many have still refused to get their shots and that the pandemic appears to be making a comeback ( Officials also said that the one-dose Sputnik-Lite will be used primarily on the young (

Elsewhere on the vaccine front, experts say conspiracy theorists are only encouraging people to remain unvaccinated (, epidemiologists are predicting that people will need to be revaccinated every six months (, and some locations are running short or completely out of the vaccine (

Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,

·         Moscow’s Buddhist community carried out a ritual designed to expel the virus from Russia (

·         Russian tourist officials say ever more foreigners, including from India, are seeking to come to Russia to be inoculated against the coronavirus (

·         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 (

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