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29 Jan, 2021 14:48

Majority of Russians now support nationwide vaccination against Covid-19 as opposition to government’s plan shrinks, poll reveals

Majority of Russians now support nationwide vaccination against Covid-19 as opposition to government’s plan shrinks, poll reveals

As Russia rolls out its domestically produced Covid-19 vaccines, the director of polling company VCIOM has revealed that more than half of all Russians are in favor of mass inoculation against coronavirus.

Speaking at a Valdai Club discussion about the impact of Covid-19, Valery Fedorov revealed that the majority of those asked supported the vaccination program.

“Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed said they were positive about the plan to conduct mass vaccination against the coronavirus in Russia,” he said, according to news agency RIA Novosti. “There is, of course, also opposition. 29 percent. But we see that it is in the minority, and it is shrinking.”

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Valdai is a Moscow-based think tank and discussion forum founded by President Vladimir Putin in 2004. It hosts a prestigious annual conference in Sochi every autumn, attended by experts from all around the world.

The total of 57 percent is close to the number most experts believe is sufficient for curtailing the virus. On Thursday, senior epidemiologist Alexander Gorelov revealed that three-fifths of the country needs to be vaccinated in order to get Covid-19 under control.

“In order to expect a decrease in the infection rate, we need to vaccinate 60 percent of the adult population who have not been diagnosed with the virus,” he said, according to TASS. “Until this level is reached, there can be wave-like fluctuations of the daily infection rate.”

According to Russian newspaper Vedomosti, which obtained the data, 30 percent of respondents are in favor of mass vaccination, with an extra 27 percent showing “strong support.”

Fedorov also revealed that 56 percent of Russians believe that the government’s measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 are sufficient.

“In November and the first half of December, when the second wave of the pandemic began in full force, there was a short period when the group of those who considered these measures insufficient got bigger,” he explained, noting that this opinion quickly changed at the turn of the year.

As ordered by President Vladimir Putin, Russia began its mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign on January 18. The country currently has two domestically made vaccines in production, with Gamaleya's Sputnik V being the most common. According to Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, 2.1 million doses of the vaccine will be in civil circulation by the end of January.

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