Staunton, August 26 – Many Russians who do not want to get vaccinated are purchasing fake certificates so that they don’t have to, but another cause for the rising tide of fake certificates, observers say, is a desire by officials to be able to claim they have vaccinated more than they have. As a result, they sometimes conspire with those who don't want the shots (rosbalt.ru/piter/2021/08/25/1917947.html).
In parts of the Russian Federation, there are still shortages of vaccines – they are even this week being reported in Moscow (regnum.ru/news/society/3353422.html) – and elsewhere there are shortages of medical personnel. To meet Moscow’s targets and avoid Moscow’s anger, fake certificates are a way of saying that more people have received the shots than in fact have.
The danger is that people using these certificates often act in ways that spread the infection, and so any increase in the number of fake certificates almost certainly will undermine the fight against the pandemic and lead to increases in the number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
Today, Russian officials reported registering 19,630 new cases and 820 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours. This one-day death toll was the highest for Russia since the pandemic began. The Moscow Patriarchate said 179 of it clergy had died from covid (t.me/COVID2019_official/3481and regnum.ru/news/3354547.html).
The pandemic continued to ebb and flow across Russia at different rates, and vaccinations also varied widely regionally (regnum.ru/news/society/3352534.html). St. Petersburg reported that more than half of its teachers had been vaccinated (regnum.ru/news/3354446.html), and Chechnya reported that it had vaccinated 63 percent of those over 60, the highest figure for any federal subject (regnum.ru/news/3354305.html).
Moscow businessmen who have succeeded in getting at least 60 percent of their employees vaccinated have been promised compensation by the city government (vedomosti.ru/economics/news/2021/08/26/883837-vaktsinirovavshim-60-sotrudnikov-kompaniyam-moskvi-vozmestyat-zatrati).
The Khakass education minister has outraged some by saying that those working in the education sector in his republic must get vaccinated or lose their jobs, something that will likely boost inoculation rates but violates Vladimir Putin’s constant refrain that vaccinations are to be voluntary (regnum.ru/news/3353860.html).
On the economic front, declines in the number of passengers and amount of freight on Russian railways since the start of the pandemic has sent that sector’s income down so far that officials say it will take several years to recover and do repairs that have had to be put off (vedomosti.ru/business/articles/2021/08/25/883790-koronavirus-oboshelsya).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· A Yaroslav KPRF leader who campaigned against vaccinations has died from covid (znak.com/2021-08-26/vystupavshiy_protiv_vakcinacii_lider_yaroslavskih_kommunistov_umer_ot_covid_19).
· Medical workers in Murmansk have stolen the passport and drawn out all the money from the bank accounts of a man who died of covid under their care. That has sparked both Russia-wide outraged and criminal charges (znak.com/2021-08-26/v_bolnice_murmanska_ot_kovida_umer_pacient_u_nego_propal_pasport_i_vse_dengi_v_banke).
· And Vektor labs have released a fifth Russian vaccine. The developers say it is little different from their earlier vaccine but easier to manufacture (rbc.ru/society/26/08/2021/6127c0d69a794739a76c54dc and pro.rbc.ru/demo/6124b43a9a7947b540e72fca).