The mayor of Moscow has introduced one of the most far-reaching forms of compulsory vaccination.
In a number of sectors, companies are required to ensure that 60 percent of their staff is vaccinated. Four other Russian regions are doing the same. Meanwhile, Russian scientists are investigating a possible ‘Moscow variant’.
Large groups of Muscovites have to believe in the mandatory vaccination: if you work in the catering industry, in education, at the municipality, in public transport, the museum, the theatre or in one of the countless beauty salons in the city.
In all these industries, employers are required to have 60 percent of their staff vaccinated. If you refuse the vaccine, the employer may fire you. The first shots must be taken on 15 July, the second on 15 August. These are doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, the Russian corona vaccine that is exported to many countries, but which the Russians themselves are not enthusiastic about.
Russians of all ages have been allowed to get vaccinated for free since the end of last year, but so far, less than 13 percent of Russians have received a shot. In comparison: in the Netherlands, which started vaccinating later, that figure is 49 percent.
Voluntary vaccination is not getting off the ground. Reason: many Russians do not trust their own government, polls show. There is also scepticism about the vaccine introduced at lightning speed, even before the tests were completed.
To raise the vaccination rate, after all, the city of Moscow, like four other Russian regions, is now using another means: coercion. The need is high. In Moscow, a record number of people are on IC. Half of all reported infections (more than 13,000 per day) come from the capital.