Sunday 3/7/21
CORONAVIRUS

Russia lagging behind on vaccinations as skepticism high

So far, some 2.2 million Russians have received at least one of two necessary doses of the jab.
04 February 2021, Russia, Moscow: A nurse in an American clinic in Moscow prepares a vaccination with the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V., which is meanwhile also longed for by many vaccination fans in Germany. Sputnik V. is even administered in Moscow while shopping or at the opera. Photo: Christian Thiele/dpa
A nurse in an American clinic in Moscow prepares a vaccination with the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V. Photo: Christian Thiele/dpa.

Russia has so far only vaccinated a comparatively small number of people against the coronavirus, despite the government's euphoric reports on the success of the Russian-made vaccine Sputnik V.

So far, some 2.2 million Russians have received at least one of two necessary doses of the jab, a representative of the national Gamaleya Research Institute, which developed the drug, was quoted as saying by news agency Interfax on Wednesday.

This means about 1.5% of the total population have been vaccinated, which puts Russia far behind in comparison with other developed countries – and even more so in comparison with countries that also produce vaccines.

President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly praised Sputnik V as the world's best vaccine and also attested Russia "global leading positions" due to a total of three vaccines that were developed in the country.

The beginning of mass vaccinations was announced in December. However, according to polls, many Russians remain skeptical, also because Putin has not received the jab himself so far.

Difficulties

In addition, there have been reports about production difficulties.

Russia has also repeatedly faced criticism regarding its handling of coronavirus data. The statistical office recently published the number of Covid-19-related deaths for 2020, which is more than twice the government's estimate.

The country recently loosened several restrictions. According to the official statistic, the number of daily new infections reached the lowest level since mid-October on Wednesday, with some 14,500 reported cases.

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