- Sunday, October 3, set records for the most COVID-19 deaths in Russia on a single day.
- Only 29% of people in Russia are vaccinated, despite the country being the first to approve a vaccine.
- The vast majority of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Russia are unvaccinated.
On Sunday, October 3, Russia reported its highest number of COVID-19 deaths per day since the start of the pandemic for the fifth time in a week. That day, 890 people died of the disease. The number of new infections was 25,769, the second-highest of the year.
Russia has the highest COVID-19 death toll of any European nation, with 218,345 fatalities. The country has reported 7,832,964 cases of the disease since the start of the pandemic.
According to The Guardian, publicly available data suggest that 600,000 “excess deaths” have occurred in Russia from the start of the pandemic to July 2021. This statistic suggests that the official death toll may significantly undercount the actual figure.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin says that the government is “seriously concerned” about the rise in COVID-19 infections and fatalities.
Mishustin points out: “Morbidity is increasing in most Russian regions. There are twice as many patients in hospitals as there were at the same time last year.” Mishustin himself was diagnosed with COVID-19 in April.
As SARS-CoV-2’s Delta variant moves through Russia’s population, Mishustin attributes the surge to low vaccination rates among the country’s citizens, saying that “the vaccination level is insufficient to stop the spread of infection.”
Of the people currently hospitalized in Russia with COVID-19, the vast majority are unvaccinated.
This is in spite of the fact that Russia was the first nation to approve a vaccine for COVID-19, its own Sputnik V vaccine. Today, three different vaccines are available throughout the country.
Low vaccination factors
President Vladimir Putin has consistently urged the Russian people to get vaccinated, saying, “[COVID-19 is] dangerous, dangerous to your life. The vaccine is not dangerous.”
Last summer, an independent survey explored Russians’ resistance to vaccination. In that study, 33% of people surveyed said they were fearful of side effects, 20% said they were waiting for the completion of clinical trials, and 16% saw no reason to get vaccinated. Russia finished phase 3 clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine on September 30.
Of those surveyed, 57% said they were not afraid of getting COVID-19. A similar number said they were opposed to mandatory vaccinations.
Dr. Anna Gotlib, a Russian-born philosopher and bioethicist, told Medical News Today that another factor is a longstanding distrust of the federal government in Russia that can leave people “sort of stuck.” Dr. Gotlib said:
“They have a hard time trusting their own vaccine, and yet they don’t trust the Western one. In the end, they just opt out of the whole thing.”
According to Dr. Gotlib, the Russian people also have a long history of faith in home remedies, “going back even before the Soviet Union, going back all the way to the tzars and beyond.”
She continued: “I remember even my own grandmother, she was an educated woman, but she had her own ways. If I got sick, unless I was really sick, the first trip wasn’t to the doctor. She had her own little medicine cabinet of things.”
A recent Russian studyTrusted Source suggests that “the attitude toward immunoprophylaxis against COVID-19 in Russia can be characterized as distrust of a specific vaccine and approval of vaccination in general as an effective technology for combating epidemics.”
Dr. Gotlib also described the degree to which disinformation regarding COVID-19 and vaccines has “drenched” Russian media.
When people complain about how pervasive disinformation is in the United States, asserted Dr. Gotlib, “they have no idea how bad it is in Russia, to the extent where when you look at Russian media sometimes it’s really hard to make your way through all the pseudoscientific anti-vaccine [nonsense] claims.”
Others have suggested that the popularity of antibody tests in Russia may somewhat account for the low vaccination numbers. Although such tests can only detect antibodies from a previous infection and cannot assess immunity to COVID-19 or diagnose a current case, some may be more comfortable with the test than vaccinations….
When liquid meets gas, a unique zone forms. Variable by nature, molecules can cross from one state to another, combining in unique ways to either desirable or unwanted ends. From heat escaping a mug [...]
A newly detected coronavirus variant is on the rise in England, with the virus believed to be an offshoot of Delta. According to a briefing from the UK Health Security Agency, released on Friday, [...]
A team of researchers has developed a new nanomechanical technique for fast, one-step, immune-affinity tests, which can quantify the immune response induced by different COVID-19 variants in serum. Their technique provides a new tool [...]
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have developed a new method for 3D printing living microbes in controlled patterns, expanding the potential for using engineered bacteria to recover rare-earth metals, clean wastewater, detect uranium, [...]
Nanomedicines may offer clinicians a way to deliver precise, targeted therapy directly to tumors without damaging surrounding tissue. Yet, progress in the development of new drugs that treat cancer at the nanoparticle level has [...]
Cambridge researchers have discovered how T cells—an important component of our immune system—are able keep on killing as they hunt down and kill cancer cells, repeatedly reloading their toxic weapons. Cytotoxic T [...]
Sunday, October 3, set records for the most COVID-19 deaths in Russia on a single day. Only 29% of people in Russia are vaccinated, despite the country being the first to approve a vaccine. [...]
New research from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has found that pathogens that form biofilms can evolve to survive nanosilver treatment. The study is the first to demonstrate that long-term nanosilver treatment can [...]
New variants of SARS-CoV-2 are more virulent and transmissible than the original variant of the virus. Health experts associate these variants of concern (VOCs) with increased risk of hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, [...]
Freeze-dried genetic circuits could reveal the presence of SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, MRSA, and more. Masks and testing have been key to the COVID-19 pandemic response—and now devices that combine the two may be on the [...]
Hundreds of neuroscientists built a ‘parts list’ of the motor cortex, laying groundwork to map the whole brain and better understand brain diseases. Before you read any further, bring your hand to your forehead. [...]
An international team, led by Swinburne University of Technology and Australian National University (ANU), have made a breakthrough discovery that could potentially lead to faster, more accurate molecular or virus tests, including for COVID-19. [...]
New mutations of COVID-19, such as the Delta strain, are "getting better" at transmitting through the air, a study has found. People infected with a later variant of COVID-19 put 43 to 100 times more virus into [...]
Merck will seek U.S. approval for pill as soon as possible If approved, would be 1st oral antiviral COVID-19 drug Merck shares rally, some vaccine makers fall U.S. government to buy 1.7 mln courses [...]
An antiviral surface coating technology sprayed on face masks could provide an extra layer of protection against COVID-19 and the flu. The coating developed at The University of Queensland has already proven effective in killing [...]
Key Points Monash researchers have developed a method to prepare elongated nanocrystals to deliver therapeutic drugs Elongated nanocrystals can carry a high payload of drugs to potentially increase drug targetability and also decrease dosage [...]