Moscow Starts Booster Vaccine Campaign Amid Surge In Cases

A man receives an injection of the Sputnik-Light single-dose vaccine in Moscow on June 30.  

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has announced the beginning of a booster vaccine campaign amid efforts to contain a surge in coronavirus cases in Russia blamed on the highly infectious Delta variant.

Sobyanin said Moscow clinics will offer booster vaccine shots after the Russian Health Ministry on June 30 announced the revaccination drive, making Russia one of the first countries in the world to officially launch a booster shot program for people already fully vaccinated.

Sobyanin said revaccination was available with any of the four Russian-registered vaccines, but that the flagship Sputnik V and the singe-dose Sputnik-Light would initially be used at eight clinics across the city.

On June 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin, during his annual call-in show, urged citizens to overcome their hesitancy and get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the country continues to rack up daily records for deaths from the coronavirus.

Putin said he hoped the country would avoid a nationwide lockdown in response to the spike in cases and would not impose mandatory vaccinations, even though Russia currently has one of the lowest rates of vaccinations among major industrial nations.

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