Vladimir Putin on Friday called on the Russians to be vaccinated against Covid-19 with products developed in Russia and intends to invite foreigners to do so, while the vaccination campaign is lagging behind.
“I want to ask our fellow citizens to seize this opportunity” to be vaccinated for free, pleaded the Russian president during the economic forum of Saint Petersburg (SPIEF), before ordering his government to work on “the organization of conditions for paying vaccination of foreigners in our country ”.
60% of Russians do not plan to get vaccinated
“The Russian vaccine is recognized as the safest”, he notably assured, explaining that only 10% of the world population has been vaccinated so far while “hundreds of millions of people do not have access vaccines ”.
“As long as we do not have generalized access to vaccines (…) on all continents, the risk of an epidemic will not disappear,” he continued.
The Russian president has stepped up several times to call on his fellow citizens to be vaccinated, while the pace is very slow mainly because of the mistrust of the population vis-à-vis the vaccine.
According to a poll carried out in April by the independent Levada institute, more than 60% of Russians questioned do not intend to be vaccinated, despite figures of new contaminations which have not fallen for several weeks.
Russia, one of the countries most affected by the pandemic
Russia was the first country in the world to announce that it had approved a vaccine against the coronavirus in August 2020, called Sputnik V, even before the end of clinical trials. Two more have since been cleared by authorities, in addition to a “light” version of Sputnik V in a single dose.
Russia is one of the countries most affected by the pandemic. According to the statistics agency Rosstat, around 250,000 deaths were linked to him at the end of March, more than double the toll recognized to date by the government in its daily accounts.