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Half of Russians Are Unafraid of Catching Covid Despite Record Deaths – Poll

Alexander Avilov / Moskva News Agency

Half of Russians are unafraid of contracting the coronavirus, according to an independent Levada Center poll published Monday. 

While 50% of Russian respondents said they are unafraid of contracting the virus, the Levada poll found that 48% are afraid of it, an increase from 43% in August.

The country with Europe’s highest Covid-19 death toll has been beset by a fourth wave of the pandemic that has seen record infections and deaths, with over 1,000 fatalities per day since Oct. 19.

Authorities have largely blamed the surge on widespread public reluctance to vaccinate and imposed a weeklong paid holiday in hopes of stemming the spread. 

According to Levada’s latest poll, the share of Russians who are unwilling to get vaccinated has been slowly decreasing over the past six months.

The pollster said that the share of those who are ready to get vaccinated against coronavirus rose from 15% in August to 19% in October while the share of those who are not ready to get vaccinated fell from 52% in August to 45% in October. 

The results are the latest sign that Russians remain largely skeptical of their country’s domestically produced vaccines. 

The pace of vaccinations in Russia has started to accelerate as regions have imposed vaccine mandates for workers in certain sectors and vaccine passports for entry into indoor venues. According to the independent Gogov monitor, one-third of Russian adults are fully vaccinated as of Monday.

According to the Levada poll, 53% of Russians said they support state-imposed mandatory vaccination for certain essential workers such as doctors, educators, transport and trade workers as a means of fighting the pandemic. 

Levada conducted the survey among 1,636 respondents in 137 Russian towns and cities between Oct. 21-27.

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