Just over 40% of Russians are willing to get coronavirus vaccinations

WHO experts have pointed to a 65%-70% vaccine coverage rate as a way to reach population immunity through vaccination, putting Russia well below the recommendation.

A nurse prepares Russia's "Sputnik-V" vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) for inoculation at a clinic in Tver, Russia October 12, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS/TATYANA MAKEYEVA/FILE PHOTO)
A nurse prepares Russia's "Sputnik-V" vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) for inoculation at a clinic in Tver, Russia October 12, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/TATYANA MAKEYEVA/FILE PHOTO)
Some 42% of Russians intend on getting vaccinated against COVID-19, a recent Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) survey found.
World Health Organization (WHO) experts have pointed to a 65%-70% vaccine coverage rate as a way to reach population immunity through vaccination, putting Russia well below the recommendation.
The willing 42% nearly doubles figures presented by similar surveys in previous months, however, when only 23% of respondents planned on being inoculated, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said.
The FOM poll highlighted the Russia-made coronavirus vaccine to the survey's representative sample of 3,000 respondents, which is bankrolled by the Russian National Wealth Fund.
Close to two-thirds (63%) of the FOM survey respondents made it clear they were aware of the fast-tracked Sputnik V vaccine, the first registered COVID-19 vaccine in the world, and two-thirds (66%) of the respondents who had an opinion on a vaccine's country of origin claimed that they would prefer to use the Russian-made vaccine.
It was not made distinctively clear how many of those surveyed held an opinion on a vaccine's origin, although around half (53%) of total respondents felt that the "country of origin of the coronavirus vaccine"  was an "important subject."
"The results of the survey indicate that willingness to participate in vaccination - and preference towards the Russian vaccine - is quite widespread," the RDIF said in a release. "Sustained demand will grow in the future as further empirical confirmation of the efficacy and safety of the vaccine is demonstrated, FOM experts say."
Sputnik's Russian developers say clinical trials, still under way, have shown it to have an efficacy rate of over 90%, higher than that of AstraZeneca's vaccine – and similar to those of US rivals Pfizer and Moderna.
AstraZeneca is to start clinical trials to test a combination of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine with Russia's Sputnik V shot to see if this can boost the efficacy of the British drugmaker's vaccine.
Some Western scientists have raised concerns about the speed at which Russia has worked, giving the regulatory go-ahead for its vaccines as well as the launching of large-scale vaccinations before full trials to test Sputnik V's safety and efficacy have been completed. Russia says the criticism is unfounded.
Moscow rolled out Sputnik to doctors, teachers and social workers last weekend; a senior official said on Thursday that vaccinations would begin across the country by the end of the week.
The Russian capital is set to become a major producer of Sputnik V, with a plant producing around 10 million doses a month opening in several weeks, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.
He said vaccinations would be made available for additional categories of people in Moscow from Monday, including sales, services and local administrative workers.
Russia has already vaccinated more than 150,000 people, the head of the RDIF Russian National Wealth Fund noted.
Reuters contributed to this report.


Tags Russia