As Russia shuts down, Putin ‘can’t understand what’s going on’ with vaccine hesitancy
Russian president Vladimir Putin is strongly urging Russians to get vaccinated as the country continues to break daily records for COVID-19 infections and deaths and is headed for a lockdown.
Russia Wednesday reported 1,028 new coronavirus deaths, the highest 24-hour death toll in the country since the start of the pandemic, according to The Associated Press (AP). The country has tallied 226,353 total COVID-19 deaths, the most in Europe.
The worsening outbreak prompted Putin to order workers in the country to stay home for a week in an effort to slow the spread. The non-working period begins Oct. 30 and runs to Nov. 7, but Putin said it could begin earlier or be extended for certain areas.
During a televised meeting with government officials, Putin said he didn’t understand the vaccine hesitancy in the country, even among some of his close friends who have delayed getting the jab.
“I can’t understand what’s going on,” Putin said, according to AP. “We have a reliable and efficient vaccine. The vaccine really reduces the risks of illness, grave complications and death,” he said.
“There are only two ways to get over this period — to get sick or to receive a vaccine,” he said. “It’s better to get the vaccine. Why wait for the illness and its grave consequences?” he added.
Domestically produced vaccines are available in Russia, none of which have been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
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