The share of Moscow residents who have been vaccinated against coronavirus is lower than that of any other European city, the Russian capital’s Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said.
Only 1.3 million Muscovites out of 12 million (10.83%) have been vaccinated from Covid-19, Sobyanin said. He called this percentage “a decent figure on the one hand,” but said it could be “at least twice that.”
“It's a shame that we have not had any restrictions on vaccinations for six months and we were the first in the world to launch a mass vaccination campaign,” Sobyanin said at a meeting with activists from Moscow’s Northeast Administrative District.
“Unfortunately, we still have 9,000 Muscovites in hospitals with severe cases of coronavirus,” Sobyanin said at the meeting, which took place last week but was published on his official website Friday. “People are still dying, yet don't want to get vaccinated.”
Muscovites can get inoculated with any of Russia’s three domestically developed vaccines for free at vaccination sites in hospitals and clinics, shopping malls and even food courts.
Despite this, the capital has struggled with vaccine uptake due to widely entrenched skepticism of Russian vaccines.
A majority of Russians (62%) are still not ready to be vaccinated with their country’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, according to a recent poll by independent Levada Center. Another survey by the Superjob job board said that 42% of Russians aren’t willing to get vaccinated under any circumstances.
In an attempt to boost vaccinations, Moscow authorities have promised to give over-60s who have been vaccinated a gift card worth 1,000 rubles ($13) to spend at cafes, shops and pharmacies across the city.