Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Russian Military Now has Herd Immunity against Coronavirus, Defense Ministry Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 6 – As a result of the combination of a massive effort to vaccinate Russians in uniform and the recovery of other soldiers and sailors who earlier suffered from the pandemic, the Russian military has achieved herd immunity against the coronavirus (regnum.ru/news/3289422.html).

            Moscow officials have suggested that they have vaccinated more than two-thirds of soldiers; and this means that there likely have been as many as 100,000 cases of coronavirus infection in the services from which most but likely far from all have recovered. The vaccination campaign in the military has been advertised as voluntary but compulsion was clearly involved.

            What is striking is how far along the Russian military is compared to the Russian population at large. According to the most recent statistics, only about 11 percent of Russians have been vaccinated and roughly a third have recovered from the disease, leaving the country at about half the percentage it needs for herd immunity as a whole.

            Today, Russian officials said they registered 9163 new cases of infection and 351 new deaths as the pandemic continued to ebb and flow across the country with the two capitals and Russia east of the Urals having the worst numbers and other mostly ethnic Russian regions doing better (t.me/COVID2019_official/3020 and regnum.ru/news/society/3287593.html).

            A Moscow court case has highlighted the efforts some in Russia went through a year ago to gain access to Western medical expertise in the course of the rush to be the first to have a vaccine against the coronavirus. Those charged were at the margins; the ones who did the most clearly aren’t (meduza.io/feature/2021/06/07/za-kazhdym-rublem-stoit-chelovek-v-pogonah).

            And Novaya gazeta has published some of the responses it received when the editors asked Russians to send in their experiences with the loss of relatives and friends during the pandemic. Several hundred did; only 12 condemned this effort and 10 were from covid dissidents (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2021/06/06/do-i-posle-smerti).

            “We did not expect such a flood of letters,” the editors say, adding that they were impressed by the sincerity of the writers who stress that the pandemic is continuing and that the losses already are casting a dark shadow over their lives and over the future of the country.

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