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Two Far Eastern Russian cities SUSPEND Covid-19 vaccinations, with demand for doses soaring as country fights spike in new cases

Two Far Eastern Russian cities SUSPEND Covid-19 vaccinations, with demand for doses soaring as country fights spike in new cases
Supplies of coronavirus vaccines are running short in two Russian cities, health authorities say, as citizens across the country sign up for jabs amid steep rises in the number of positive tests for the virus and new restrictions.

Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur, two of the largest urban areas in the nation's Far East, will not be offering first doses until new shipments are received, regional health officials said on Friday.

“In the cities, the vaccine is running out,” the authorities said. “Therefore, we have to suspend the work of vaccination points handing out the first component of the vaccine in a number of clinics. Vaccination with the second component will continue as usual,” the statement said.

As of Friday, four Russian regions have vaccinated more than one in five of their population. In Chukotka, Russia's most easterly region, more than 30% have received at least one dose, while Far Eastern island province Sakhalin is poised to cross the threshold, with 19.9% of the public having had their initial jab.

Also on rt.com Moscow orders ‘mandatory’ vaccination against Covid-19 for some workers serving the public as cases soar in Europe’s largest city

Queues for vaccine appointments had been reported in towns and cities across Russia after new restrictions were imposed in a number of regions. Moscow has demanded that companies in sectors like hospitality, transport and leisure ensure 60% of their workers are immunized, or else face hefty fines. Officials have confirmed that bosses can suspend employees without pay in order to meet the quotas. Similar rules have now been copied elsewhere, including in St. Petersburg, the country's second city.

From Monday, the Russian capital will also require residents to scan a QR code when entering bars, cafes, pubs, food courts and a number of other public spaces. Only those who have proof of vaccination or were officially recorded as a coronavirus case within the past six months will be eligible for unrestricted access, while others will have to supply a clean PCR test from within the previous three days.

Russia's Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova called the move “a dishonest game.” She said that “the mechanisms by which it is being implemented are giving rise to mass psychosis and making people fear coercion.”

Also on rt.com With infectious Delta strain on rise, Moscow to require proof of Covid-19 vaccination or negative test to visit bars & restaurants

However, two new polls released on Wednesday found that almost half of Russians surveyed back the new measures in Moscow, while 61% of those asked by researchers now plan to be vaccinated in the near future.

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