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21 Jun, 2021 13:15

With cases rising, Russian Ministry of Health is planning for Covid-19 re-vaccinations, as antibodies wane in early jab recipients

With cases rising, Russian Ministry of Health is planning for Covid-19 re-vaccinations, as antibodies wane in early jab recipients

The Russian Ministry of Health has begun preparing a Covid-19 revaccination program for those whose antibody levels have dropped to insufficient levels, as the country looks to take control over the recent rapid rise in cases.

That's according to Moscow daily Kommersant, which revealed that Health Minister Mikhail Murashko has promised to publish recommendations on the timing of revaccination as early as this week.

The plan to revaccinate those who received the jab some time ago has also been backed by Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin, who wrote on a blog that it is now "vital" to start giving the inoculated a third dose. As Russia began public trials of the Sputnik V jab last autumn, some early recipients are now into their ninth month, and their protection levels may be slipping.

"We will work with the government so that they promptly decide on the timing and technology," Sobyanin wrote on his blog.

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Revaccination has also been supported by the Kremlin, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling it "inevitable."

In recent weeks, Covid-19 has been on the rise within Russia, and individual regions are starting to implement their own measures to encourage jab uptake. In Moscow, Sobyanin ordered compulsory inoculation for those who work in the service sector, such as the transport industry, fitness clubs, and banks.

Those who refuse could be put on unpaid leave until the end of the pandemic.

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Other districts have also introduced compulsory vaccination for those with certain occupational risks of infection, such as the Leningrad Region and Far Eastern Sakhalin. In Saint Petersburg itself, 65% of civil servants will be forced to be immunized.

According to official numbers, Russia recorded 17,378 new cases nationwide on Monday. The capital is taking the brunt of the latest wave, with 7,584 new infections detected in just 24 hours – almost 45% of all recorded cases.

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