Russia Has Almost Ceased To Vaccinate Against Covid, Despite The Excess Of "Sputnik V"

Russia Has Almost Ceased To Vaccinate Against Covid, Despite The Excess Of "Sputnik V"
Russia Has Almost Ceased To Vaccinate Against Covid, Despite The Excess Of "Sputnik V"

When Dmitry, a pensioner from Germany, signed up for the vaccination, the nearest slot was vacant in April - he is still waiting for the vaccination. Less fortunate was the journalist Sergei Jesuitov, who lives in Italy - he was promised to be vaccinated not earlier than December 2021, but rather in the summer of 2022. For the European Union, this is the norm - everyone wants to be vaccinated, but there is still not enough vaccine. In many countries, vaccination is not yet available for people under the age of 80.


Brussels is heavily criticized for, according to the Financial Times, the "failure" of the vaccination program. And this despite the fact that the percentage of the EU population covered with the vaccine is already twice as high as in Russia - about 8% versus about 4% - but the reason is completely different.

Delays in the supply of vaccines to the Russian regions, which were observed in some places at the beginning of the year, have generally been eliminated. In Moscow, for example, there is no waiting period - in all clinics we checked, hundreds of slots are free for the next seven days, you can get vaccinated even on the day of appointment. In Sakhalin, as reported by Regnum, the electronic queue for the vaccine has reached 17 thousand people, but there are not many such regions.

This is what Andrei Mershiev, a resident of Novorossiysk, says.

“You can make an appointment without any problems, we do not only vaccinate in polyclinics, but even carry out in shopping centers. That is, there is no problem, on the contrary, not everyone wants to. There is a vaccine, but there are no people willing. Now there is such an obligation for state employees. It seems that they do not force anyone, but they strongly recommend getting vaccinated. People have ceased to be afraid, probably, and think: since there is no fear, why put it. I lived without a vaccine, and I will still live. Therefore, I think this psychology works."

Dmitry Moskvin, a resident of Yekaterinburg, comments.

“Now there is a problem with vaccination for those who give the first one, and there are no problems for those who give the second one. I've only seen it so far. And the rest everything was in the regime that people could not be driven out - I can see it from my surroundings that mostly budget organizations are sent almost compulsorily to show statistics that people are vaccinated. And those who are not in budgetary organizations, it is a very rare case to voluntarily go. It seems to me that this is an all-Russian situation of a very high degree of distrust towards everything that comes from the authorities. Probably, we need some not just opinions of respected people, but really some very good educational program why this vaccine is safe."

Some Russians postpone or refuse vaccination, citing the presence of chronic diseases. In fact, the list of contraindications to "Sputnik V" is very short: pregnancy and breastfeeding, severe allergic reactions, acute diseases and a period of exacerbation of chronic ones, age up to 18 years and hypersensitivity to the components of the drug. Otherwise, as the number of vaccinated Russians clearly demonstrates, Sputnik V is absolutely safe.

Given the fact that in many regions the supply of a vaccine sharply exceeds demand, the promotion of vaccines is becoming almost more important than its production. Alexey Agranovsky, professor of the Department of Virology, Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University, Doctor of Biological Sciences, shares his assessment of the situation.

Aleksey Agranovsky Professor of Virology Department, Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University, Doctor of Biological Sciences “Fewer TV shows, where some murderer and rapist gives an interview for a million rubles, and more programs where reasonable people explain that it is necessary to be vaccinated. When such clever transmissions press the idiotic ones, then, probably, our population will react a little better to vaccines. What I saw, some kind of commercials about vaccines - they are few and not well done. Since this disease is not smallpox, no one lies in cramps - they get sick quietly, quietly die, - everyone thinks: if I sit at home, why will I get vaccinated? Against the background of the fact that the developers and our doctors did a great job, the people who should have promoted this idea - they have not worked well enough yet”.

The campaign on the benefits of vaccination against coronavirus began in the fall. With the exception of some creative experiments - such as the public service advertisement of the Moscow City Hall that vampires should not drink the blood of anti-vaccines, since they can carry dangerous infections - everything was very restrained, mostly Russians see only posters with smiling doctors. We asked Ksenia Kasyanova, Deputy General Director of CrosDigital Agency, about how to complement such a campaign.

Ksenia Kasyanova Deputy General Director of CrosDigital Agency “Any problem has a simple, easy, one-step, and most importantly, wrong solution. In such a complex topic as vaccination, the approach must be comprehensive. PR tools usually work on trust: a shaft of publications in the press, expert comments. This work is being carried out quite actively. Another problem is that, unfortunately, this kind of PR activities that are not supported by advertising or are not supported in the proper amount, unfortunately, do not always give the desired effect. Usually, what does a person do? He sees an advertisement, experiences some kind of emotional involvement, and then goes to find out what it really is. Today, part of the explanation is large, and the advertising part, where an emotional connection is created, fails. If we look at the Moscow campaign, the only thing that is being exploited is the image of the doctor: "I was vaccinated, come and you." There are simply no other messages related to family, protection or other types of motives in the communication space."

As Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with volunteers of the We Are Together campaign on Thursday, vaccination has begun in full in all but nine regions of the country. Problems with the release and distribution of the vaccine - which the president called "the safest and most effective in the world" - remain, but are being addressed.

Putin called vaccination the general way to fight the epidemic and assured that vaccine production would grow. At the same time, he pointed out the problems associated with logistics, distribution of manufactured drugs, and the organization of vaccination points. As the head of the Federal Biomedical Agency Veronika Skvortsova said the day before, the third wave of coronavirus in Russia is inevitable without vaccination.