- 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….
A paper recently published in the journal ACS Applied Energy Materials demonstrated the feasibility of using a covalent organic framework (COF)-based nanofluidic hybrid membranes (NHMs) to attain enhanced interfacial ion transport for the generation of osmotic [...]
The excess fluoroquinolones (FQs) discharged into the aquatic environment due to human activities must be removed cost-effectively. In an article published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, the authors fabricated an environment-friendly dealkaline lignin-grafted Fe3O4 nanoparticles [...]
Controlling strong electromagnetic fields on nanoparticles is the key to triggering targeted molecular reactions on their surfaces. Such control over strong fields is achieved via laser light. Although laser-induced formation and breaking of molecular [...]
A paper recently published in the journal Nature Communications demonstrated an effective method to realize on-chip nanophotonic topological rainbow devices using the concept of synthetic dimensions. Importance of Synthetic Dimensions for the Construction of Topological Nanophotonics [...]
In a study available in the journal Materials Today: Proceedings, silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) were fabricated using a green method using Citrus X sinensis. Methylthioninium Chloride (MB) Dyes Threatening the Environment Dye and sewage drainage into [...]
Public health experts are divided over how many people are getting long COVID-19, a potentially debilitating condition that comes after a patient has recovered from the coronavirus. Ill effects from the condition can include [...]
Well over two years into the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of COVID cases continue to be recorded around the world every day. With the rise of new variants, the symptoms of COVID have also evolved. Initially, [...]
Drug resistance is a common phenomenon, with drugs becoming less and less effective as their usage increases. To address this issue, a novel technique employing conjugated polymer-based nanoparticles is presented in the study published [...]
Microrobots have the potential to revolutionize medicine. Researchers at the Max Planck ETH Centre for Learning Systems have now developed an imaging technique that for the first time recognises cell-sized microrobots individually and at [...]
Scientists have recently developed multifunctional hexagonal NaxWO3 nanocrystals that can serve as microwave sensitizers to kill cancer cells as well as improve the overall chemodynamic therapy (CDT). This study is available as a pre-proof in Chemical Engineering Journal. [...]
Apple’s visionary founder, the late Steve Jobs once said, “the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology”. And that prediction is coming true in the drug [...]
Chemical separation processes are essential in the manufacturing of many products from gasoline to whiskey. Such processes are energetically costly, accounting for approximately 10–15 percent of global energy consumption. In particular, the use of [...]
Scientists have recently developed electrochemical immunosensors based on graphene oxide−gold (GO−Au) nanocomposites. These immunosensors are highly sensitive with dual function, i.e., they can detect severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antigen and antibody. [...]
Omicron relatives called BA.4 and BA.5 are behind a fresh wave of COVID-19 in South Africa, and could be signs of a more predictable future for SARS-CoV-2. Here we go again. Nearly six months [...]