Monday, July 12, 2021

Pro-Vaccination Messaging Becoming Sharper in Russia

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 8 – Until recently, public service messages on billboards and the airwaves about vaccinations were generally positive, stressing the value of getting the shots for oneself and those one comes into contact with. But now they have taken a sharp turn, saying bluntly that those who don’t vaccinated are behind the deaths of Russians (

            In general, the back and forth between those favoring the vaccines and the anti-vaxxers has become nastier with the latter increasingly willing to use violence against their opponents. The new propaganda effort appears to be a response to that (

            Indeed, opposition to the vaccine may be shrinking but hardening, with a new poll suggesting that one in ten Russians is prepared to resign from his job if his company requires him to get the vaccine (

            But it is also a result of the difficulties governors face who feel compelled to press for vaccinations, including by making them mandatory, but have a president, Vladimir Putin, who still insists that they should remain voluntary. The nasty billboards reflect that as well (

            Today, the Russian authorities reported registering 24,818 new cases of infection and 734 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours for the country as a whole. Moscow and St. Petersburg led in the numbers but almost all other regions had higher numbers as well ( and

            Moscow city loosened QR requirements for entering restaurants. Now, until August 1, Russians and others won’t have to get the QR code before going into an eating establishment in the capital ( But elsewhere restrictions, including to enter whole regions, became more strict (

            On the vaccine front, the Union of First Aid Workers petitioned Putin to provide special support for them if vaccination becomes mandatory (, the health ministry said it would consider approving foreign vaccines for use in Russia (, and regions suffering shortages of the vaccine say they now have enough (

            On the international front, Moscow is demanding that Europeans recognize Russian vaccines since Russia has recognized European ones and has lashed out at the French for digging in against that idea (, and

            Meanwhile in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,

·         Barnaul officials reversed themselves and prohibited an anti-vax demonstration saying that the deteriorating epidemiological situation there precluded any such assembly (

·         The third wave of the pandemic has killed domestic tourism with regions imposing restrictions and people finding it difficult to move around ( and

·         Some 40 percent of Russian election workers have now been vaccinated, but increasingly analysts are saying that participation is likely to be down because of the pandemic and infection fears (  and


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