MOSCOW, Russia | Faced with a “dramatic” situation, Moscow and its entire region on Tuesday introduced compulsory COVID-19 vaccination in the service industry, marking the first immunization campaign in Russia that is slowing down and without any restrictions.
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This decision is one of the most important in the world in terms of population size.
“We are simply obliged to do everything to carry out mass vaccinations as soon as possible and stop this terrible disease,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said seriously on his website.
City health authorities “today adopted a decree on the mandatory vaccination of service workers,” he continued.
Soon a similar measure was taken by the Moscow region.
Thus, in particular, the personnel of transport, shops, restaurants, cultural institutions, beauty salons, health care and education, banks, etc. are vaccinated.
The authorities did not specify how many people among the 20 million residents of Moscow and the Moscow region this concerns.
The Moscow health authorities justified this measure, noting that more than 70% of infections in the past ten days have affected the working population. Mr. Sobyanin has already announced a non-working week on June 15th.
According to this decree, 60% of employees in the tertiary sector were to receive two doses of the vaccine by 15 August.
Currently, 12 thousand people have been hospitalized in Moscow due to the new coronavirus, and “the incidence is at its peak” at the end of 2020, the mayor said, referring to the second fatal wave in Russia.
“Most of these people would not get sick if they had received the Covid vaccine on time,” he said.
The obligation to get vaccinated runs counter to the statements made so far by President Vladimir Putin.
“We shouldn’t talk about compulsory vaccination, it’s unreasonable,” he said at the end of May, repeatedly urging Russians to be vaccinated with one of the sera developed by Russia, primarily Sputnik-V.
Answering a question on Wednesday, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there were no government commitments. However, on the eve, he indicated that the competence belongs to the regional authorities.
For weeks irritated by the refusal to vaccinate his voters, the mayor of Moscow ruled that the unvaccinated who go “to public places and (come into contact with) other people” are “complicit in this process. Epidemiological “.
For nearly a year, the state apparatus and the media have highlighted good health crisis management and the prowess of Sputnik V, developed by Russia and available for over six months.
But according to a poll in April by the independent Levada Institute, 60% of Russians do not want the vaccine, despite its scientific rationale, scalded by decades of Soviet and then Russian propaganda and years of budget cuts in the health sector.
Only 1.8 million out of 12 or 13 million Moscow residents are vaccinated.
On Wednesday, the country said it had 13,397 new cases and 396 deaths in the past 24 hours. In Moscow – 5782 and 75 respectively.
Russia is among the states most affected by the pandemic. More than 270,000 deaths were associated with it at the end of April, more than double the 127,576 deaths recorded by the government in its daily reports to date, according to the statistics agency Rosstat.
After tightly containing the spring of 2020, Russia imposed only very limited restrictions on the fight against coronavirus during a second deadly wave at the end of the year to preserve its economy.
And most of these measures were canceled in early 2021, so Russians have been living mostly normal lives for six months now. Wearing a mask is questionable even though the commitment remains valid.