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1 Feb, 2024 21:02

Russia changes mandatory Covid-19 vaccination rules

Health and education workers will no longer have to take regular shots against the virus
Russia changes mandatory Covid-19 vaccination rules

The Russian Health Ministry has significantly relaxed its requirements for compulsory vaccination against Covid-19, declaring most people will no longer have to regularly take shots against the disease.

The previous regulations, adopted by the ministry in 2021, demanded almost everyone undergo a mandatory vaccination in case of an epidemic threat, with health and education workers given “top priority” on this list, along with those suffering from chronic diseases, the elderly, and anyone living in cities with a population exceeding one million.

Under the new rules, only those that have never been vaccinated against Covid-19 or contracted the disease itself – as well as those suffering from chronic lung or heart diseases, HIV, or tuberculosis – and the elderly will have to take a mandatory shot.

Vaccination should be done once a year, whereas previously it was twice. The new rules are scheduled to come into effect in September 2024 and stay in force until September 2030.

There is no need for mass vaccination against Covid-19 in Russia any longer, the media has reported, citing the health ministry. The country’s healthcare officials believe that the population has developed a high level of immunity against the disease and the epidemic situation has become “stable,” according to recent reports.

Last November, the head of the Russian consumer rights and wellbeing watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, Anna Popova, stated that a seasonal immunization campaign against Covid-19 was unnecessary due to a lack of risks associated with the disease.

In January, Popova’s agency stated that the peak of Covid-19 infections had passed in Russia and that new mass vaccination campaigns were no longer needed. Russia’s former chief health inspector, Gennady Onishchenko, also said at the time that Covid-19 had “exhausted” its pandemic potential over the years and no longer posed such a serious threat.

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