The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Russia will not be able to vaccinate 60% of its population with Covid-19 as planned before the fall due to low demand for the vaccine, after the country recorded the highest number of daily deaths from the virus in the country .
Russian authorities attribute the recent surge in Covid-19 cases to the infectious Delta variant, which they say accounts for about 90% of all new cases, and that many Russians are reluctant to get vaccinated.
Although the vaccine is free and widely available, the low vaccination rate has forced authorities in some areas to impose mandatory vaccination on some workers and provide incentives for others, such as the opportunity to win a car or apartment.
“We have seen an increase in the number of people who want to be vaccinated this week,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.
“But before that, even if all the conditions are in place (vaccinations), the vaccination rate is still very low. Obviously, this vaccination goal cannot be achieved. The goal will be postponed.”
Before Peskov’s comments, independent television station Dozhd reported that Russia would abandon its goal of vaccinating 60% of the population before the fall.
The government’s coronavirus task force said on Tuesday that 652 people had died from the virus in the past 24 hours, a record high in a single day.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Russia has recorded approximately 5.5 million infections.
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