Calling the shots: Russian PM Medvedev asks deputy to report on govt flu vaccinations
“This year the vaccination campaign in the government will start on October 5. I invite all my colleagues top have flu shots and I will definitely have one myself,” Golodets, the deputy PM in charge of health and social issues, said at a government session on Monday.
In rely, Medvedev said: “After it is finished, please tell me who of the government members have had the shots.”
“The season of respiratory infections is already starting and we have created all conditions for timely vaccination. We have purchased the vaccine and delivered it to all regions without exception, anyone who wants it can have a free flu shot, either at the local health center or at work, if his or her employer has organized it,” Medvedev said.
“Of course, it is a private thing, but we need to explain that it is always easier to prevent the sickness rather than treat it,” he added.
“Flu has always been a very serious illness and it remains one all over the world,” Golodets said. “It can have a lethal outcome, no one should ever forget that.”
The deputy PM also said that experts in her ministry expected about 60 million Russians to be given a free vaccination this year. She added that almost 29 million people in the northern regions of the country had already done so.
In mid-September this year, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova proposed cutting sick leave compensation for parents who refuse to vaccinate their children without a legitimate medical reason. However, the idea was met with strong opposition from the Russian children’s rights ombudsman, Anna Kuznetsova, who claimed that healthcare should not be enforced by punishment and that material restrictions could hurt children instead of protecting them.