The Kremlin has said it’s up to local leaders to find ways to boost coronavirus vaccine uptake, after one Russian region threatened to withhold road repairs from areas with low levels of immunization amid a sharp spike in deaths. Read Full Article at RT.com

The Kremlin has said it’s up to local leaders to find ways to boost coronavirus vaccine uptake, after one Russian region threatened to withhold road repairs from areas with low levels of immunization amid a sharp spike in deaths.

On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov told journalists that, while he wouldn’t comment on specifics, the Russian government will support any move to encourage people to go and get jabbed in an effort to try and curb the rising coronavirus infections across the country. 

“All methods to push people toward understanding the necessity of vaccination are good,” he said. “Indeed, all measures are good. Each region enjoys the authority to impose its own measures,” also stressing that people should understand the need for the vaccination.

The Kremlin official was speaking in response to questions over comments made by Roman Starovoit, the governor of the Kursk Region, threatening to halt road repairs in districts with low levels of uptake of Covid-19 vaccines. In some areas of the district, fewer than 55% of people have been immunized, and the governor has said he will take steps to ensure more people get the shot. “We need to get involved in the work and explain the need for vaccination,” Starovoit said.

The move coincides with an increasing number of coronavirus infections reported in Russia and more than 900 people dying daily from the virus over the past two days. On Wednesday, the country’s official statistics reported that 929 people had passed away, the highest number since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. On Thursday, the figure dipped slightly, with 924 people dying from Covid-19 and 27,550 new cases recorded – a rise from 25,133 a day earlier.

There have been a number of different measures taken across the regions in an attempt to boost the vaccine rollout. In June, Moscow said that free cars would be given away in prize draws to vaccinated residents. Then, in August, a lottery amongst those who have had the shot was announced, with immunized citizens in the running to win 100,000 rubles (about $1,378). The city also recently extended its handout of the ‘Taking Care of Health’ kits, which include vitamins, blood pressure monitors, and cosmetics that are available to people who take the vaccine.

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said this week that around 47.4 million people have received their first vaccine dose, and 42.2 million have had both shots. However, she added that vaccine uptake needs to be higher in order to achieve herd immunity.

Peskov said in September that there are currently “no discussions” in the Kremlin about the prospect of another national lockdown and, on Wednesday, despite the recent statistics, he said that shutting down the country remains an “undesirable scenario.”

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By RT

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