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15 Apr, 2021 16:05

Despite early vaccine breakthrough, Russian demand for Covid-19 jabs far lower than hoped & ‘leaves much to be desired’ – Kremlin

Despite early vaccine breakthrough, Russian demand for Covid-19 jabs far lower than hoped & ‘leaves much to be desired’ – Kremlin

In August last year, Russia became the first country in the world to register a vaccine against Covid-19. But eight months later, despite Sputnik V’s International success, there’s been a slow uptake domestically for inoculation.

That’s according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who revealed that the current logistics are coping well, but too few people want to receive the jab.

This is despite internationally respected medical journal the Lancet publishing research in February showing that Sputnik V has an efficacy of around 91.6%, among the highest in the world. Russia also has two other registered vaccines, EpiVacCorona, produced by Siberia’s Vector Center, and a third jab, named CoviVac.

"The work on distribution of the vaccine in accordance with the existing demand and production volumes is going satisfactorily," he said, while noting that the demand so far "leaves much to be desired."

Also on rt.com Serbia to become second European country to start production of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, after Russia itself

Earlier this month, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova revealed that the number of Russians wishing to be vaccinated against coronavirus had increased dramatically. However, as of Thursday morning, just 3.9% of the population (5,707,857) has been fully immunized against Covid-19, far fewer than the 23.1% seen in the US and 15.5% in the UK.

When counting those who received just their first jab, which itself gives significant protection against Covid-19, the figure is still relatively low: 6.55% (9,578,072 people).

On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin received his booster jab, and encouraged other citizens to be inoculated against coronavirus. However, the Russian leader didn’t reveal which exact vaccine he got, simply saying he had one of the country’s domestic shots. Putin’s refusal to name the jab he chose is thought to be an effort to avoid the general public favoring one vaccine over another.

On Thursday, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin revealed that over 1 million residents of the capital have received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, with more than 820,000 also getting the booster.

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