Mass inoculation against the coronavirus in Russia is gaining steam: the number of those vaccinated in the majority of regions is growing quickly and in some the supply of vaccines is already running out. At the same time, the discussion of special “COVID passports” is apparently over – at this stage, authorities decided it was a detrimental idea.
TASS gathered key facts on inoculation which is in its second week in the country.
How much vaccine, how many got inoculated?
– About 8.2 mln doses of vaccines against the coronavirus have already been produced in Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova reported at a meeting with the participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday. So far, medical organizations received a third of this amount – almost 2.7 mln doses. As the deputy prime minister explained, this is related to the necessity to control safety and quality of each batch.
– The number of vaccination stations is growing quickly: in about a week it increased almost by half – from 2,250 to 3,100.
– There was no official information on how many people have been inoculated already. The Gamaleya National Research Center that developed the first domestic Sputnik V vaccine thinks that there are more than 2 mln of them, not counting participants of clinical trials.
Where are the majority of the inoculated?
– By Thursday, in Moscow, more than 320,000 people got inoculated, that is, over 2.5% of all residents. According to Deputy Moscow Mayor Anastasia Rakova, 15,000-20,000 residents get vaccinated daily compared to approximately 10,000 last week.
– The process also intensifies in the Moscow Region – there the number of the inoculated in a week has grown by 30,000, reaching 70,000. If at the beginning of the mass inoculation, 4,000 – 5,000 people a day visited vaccination stations in the region, on Wednesday, over 7,000 got inoculated.
– In St. Petersburg, already almost 50,000 residents got inoculated (about 30,000 a week ago), so the rate of the inoculation approximately doubled. The city authorities reported that on Wednesday a record number of 6,900 residents came to the vaccination stations. At the same time, the Leningrad Region, where 2,000 people were inoculated daily, ran out of vaccines by the middle of the week and the local healthcare committee asked to revise the schedule of supplies of the preparation.
– In the Krasnodar Region which is among the most densely populated in the country, about 32,000 residents got inoculated – almost as many as got infected during the entire pandemic. Next week they expect the delivery of another 50,000 doses of the vaccine.
What about remote regions?
– The vaccination process is gaining momentum in remote regions as well. The number of inoculated residents on Sakhalin increased 2.5 times in a week, bringing the total to almost 11,800 people, while on Kamchatka, where the vaccination campaign was scheduled to start only in February, almost 4,000 residents have already got inoculated.
– In Siberia, the inoculation is also conducted more actively – for example, in the Novosibirsk Region since January 18 the number of the vaccinated increased 6.9 times, reaching 14,600 residents.
– In some remote parts of the country there are still less vaccines than those who wish to get them. Thus, on Wednesday, registration for the inoculation had to be suspended in the Nenets Autonomous District – they ran out of vaccines. The registration resumed on Friday.
What about “COVID passports”?
– The Russian authorities decided not to introduce any additional documents for those inoculated against the coronavirus except for the appropriate certificate.
As the deputy prime minister explained, this idea “annoys citizens” who begin to view the inoculation “as a compulsory process.”
– On the same day, the Republic of Bashkortostan announced that the introduction of “COVID passports” scheduled for February 5 will be postponed at least until the moment when no less than 25% of adult residents get inoculated. Head of the republic Radiy Khabirov admitted that he didn’t expect that “a strictly regional initiative will be met with such a strong and specific reaction on the federal scale.”.
Pandemic may begin to recede after February-March — Russian health minister
The coronavirus epidemic may begin to recede after February or March, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Friday.
“We are doing our best today. I think February and March will be a turning point and the pandemic will begin to recede,” he said.
According to the minister, there are enough hospital beds for coronavirus patients in the country.
“Today, we have a sufficient stock of hospital beds. So, it is better to waste no time to take patients, especially those older than 80, to hospital. It is better to hospitalize such patients preventively, not waiting for any complications, to save their lives and health,” he added.
He promised that 2.7 billion rubles ($35.58 million) will be allocated to Russian regions within a week to buy medicines for coronavirus patients.
To date, 3,813,048 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 3,255,462 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 72,185 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.