On August 11, 2020, Russia registered what was at that time the first coronavirus vaccine. He did it in record time and gave hope to fight a pandemic that was already affecting the whole world.
Almost a year later, there are numerous countries with soaring immunization rates among its population (more than 50% vaccinated), however, Russia is not one of them. On the contrary, it is a nation far behind, despite having its own vaccine, as its comparison with Spain shows.
Vaccination in Russia is going very slow. (Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF / . via .)
The rate of vaccination on Spanish soil is similar to that of other European countries such as France, Germany or Italy. Despite the fact that in the first months of vaccination hardly any doses arrived, the large continental countries have been able to speed up during spring and they keep August as the key date to achieve herd immunity (set at 70% of the immunized population).
However, Russia, which from the beginning has had no supply problems it has remarkably low immunization rates.
To the point that it is below Spain not only in relative terms (something logical due to the different speed of vaccination), but talso in absolute (Something that does not make any sense because it has four times the population of Spain and therefore greater capacity to put a greater number of doses faster).
In relative terms the distance is considerable. While 54.16% of Spaniards have at least one dose of the vaccine as of June 29, only 15.21% of Russians have a puncture. In the complete pattern, the distances are also accentuated: 37.5% versus 11.9%.
Spain has immunized a much higher percentage of its population than Russia, at least with the first dose. (Our World in Data).
More surprising are the absolute terms because Spain is also ahead of Russia in number of doses administered. Since vaccination began in December 2020 (the Russians, a couple of weeks before), the Spanish health system has put 41.2 million punctures, while their Russian counterparts remain at 39.3 million, according to data from Our World in Data of June 29.
Spain is also ahead in absolute terms. (Our World in Data).
In this sense, these numbers are revealing and show how slow Russia is. For example, France, another country more populated than Spain, It has immunized a lower percentage of people (49.4% with the first dose) and it has given more doses than Spain (53 million).
The reasons for these terrible numbers are various. One of them It is not the lack of stock of doses, that has been guaranteed for the last six months. Nor that the vaccine has low effectiveness, since prestigious studies such as the one published in The Lancet magazine in February 2021 it gave it an effectiveness greater than 90%.
The problem is precisely the fact that the country has not been able to catch cruising speed at any time in the inoculation. While Spain right now puts 1.14 daily doses for every 100 inhabitants, Russians settle for 0.33.
Comparing both graphs shows how the Spanish has been rising much faster, while the Russian has been more sustained, without great differences with respect to months like March or April.
Spain has been vaccinating faster and faster, while Russia has failed to pick up speed. (Our World in Data).
Another reason that Bloomberg points to is the chronic distrust of Russians in authority. It is a country in which, according to Amnesty International, there is a major human rights crisis. For sample, the arrest of opposition leader Navalny or the fact that Putin won the elections in 2018 with almost 77% of the votes, something unthinkable in a democratic country.
Thus, mistrust in the Government moves to vaccines promoted by this. Surveys show that 62% of those asked do not want to be vaccinated, while 55% are not afraid of contagion. These high numbers of people who refuse immunization complicate both speeding up the process and reach herd immunity In the near future.
The danger of everything goes well
A third important reason is the false sense of confidence that the population distills. For months the authorities have repeated the message that everything was fine and there was nothing to worry about. They tend to be common messages in regimes with a lack of freedom, but now they go against it to convince people to get vaccinated. Lvaccination has not been a priority sufficiently urgent and skepticism and denialism have caused a new wave of infections to arrive.
Russia is one of the countries most affected by the pandemic. (Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF / . via .)
Until now Russia is the fifth country in the world with the most positives (more than 5.5 million) and the sixth with the most deaths. The spread of the delta variant it is wreaking havoc in countries like the UK or Portugal, with high vaccination rates, and could have a devastating effect in Russia, where people are not as protected.
Thus, Russia must take a radical turn in its policy regarding the coronavirus, while the parliamentary elections September looming on the horizon. The reality is that by that date the Russians may lag far behind other countries such as Europeans or China, having had all the available tools in their hand. in the form of vaccines From the beginning.
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