The “massive” vaccination campaign against the coronavirus starting today in Russia is starting on a relatively small scale. For the time being, only selected groups in Moscow can be vaccinated. These are people who work in education, health care and social services. A separate program applies to the Russian armed forces.
In Moscow, those who wish to do so can go to seventy outpatient clinics for their first injection with the Sputnik V vaccine, developed in Russia, of which the third test phase has not yet been fully completed. The second vaccination will follow three weeks later. According to Deputy Prime Minister Golikova, the vaccine offers full protection three weeks after that second shot.
Vaccination is free for Russian citizens. Moscow mayor Sobjanin reported on Twitter that 5,000 interested parties have registered yesterday.
Not the elderly
Not all teachers, doctors and social workers are eligible. If they are over 60 they cannot participate. That includes people who have recently had the flu or gotten a flu shot. Finally, the chronically ill are also excluded, such as people suffering from diabetes, epilepsy, kidney or liver disease, or heart or lung disease.
According to authorities, 186,000 doses of the vaccine are initially available to citizens. For the military, another 15,000 will be added. It is hoped that two million vaccines will have been produced and distributed across Russia by the end of the year. It will therefore gradually be possible to vaccinate in other regions.
Participation in the vaccination program is voluntary, but there are doubts about this voluntariness. Many people fear that they will lose their jobs if they do not participate. In a recent poll, 59 percent of the population indicated that they do not want to be vaccinated.