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Less Than 10% of People Vaccinated In Moscow, Center of Russia’s Vaccination Drive

Latest figures continue to show the slow pace of Russia’s vaccination rollout.

Russia's vaccination campaign has lagged most other major countries. Moskva News Agency

Around 820,000 Muscovites have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said yesterday, with the number who have received at least one dose of Russia’s three homemade jabs having surpassed 1 million in the capital.

In a city of at least 12 million, the figures mean under 10% of the capital’s residents have been vaccinated, marking the latest sign of the slow pace of Russia’s drive.

Despite being the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine, Russia’s vaccination campaign has been beset by a skeptical public as well as production and delivery hiccups. 

Sobyanin said Tuesday that Moscow is “fully supplied” with vaccines and urged residents to go to one of the city’s 100 vaccination centers to get their jab. 

“Summer, a season of rest and vacations, is ahead. If we want to live a normal life during the summer months — if we want to travel, go to theaters and the cinema — then don’t postpone getting vaccinated,” Sobyanin said in a blog post on his website.

The capital has also launched at-home vaccinations for older residents and those who cannot easily get to a vaccination site as officials step up their campaign to speed up the vaccination rollout.

Moscow has an open vaccination program, meaning any of the capital’s adult residents can be vaccinated, without priority given to certain age groups of professions. Sobyanin said 45% of those vaccinated were over 65. Nationwide, prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin recently said around half of all Russians who had been vaccinated were over 65, indicating that just one in eight pensioners have received a dose of the vaccine so far.

Russia does not publish an official tally of how many people have been vaccinated. Instead, politicians and regional leaders issue ad-hoc updates when certain milestones have been passed. Analysis by the Gogov think tank estimates 9.5 million Russians — 6.5% — have been given at least one dose of the vaccine so far. 

Of those, 5.6 million — 3.9% — have received both does required to provide the highest protection against the virus.

Russia has been one of the world’s most-affected countries by the virus and has recorded at least 422,000 excess deaths since the start of the pandemic. But very few restrictions remain in place, with entertainment venues like restaurants, cinemas, night clubs and bars fully open for business.

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