The slow pace of vaccinations in Eastern Europe is rooted in several factors, including public distrust and past experience with other vaccine

 Truck driver Andriy Melnik never took the coronavirus seriously. With a friend, he bought a fake vaccination certificate so his travel documents would appear in order when he hauled cargo to other parts of Europe, AP reports.

His view changed after the friend caught COVID-19 and ended up in an intensive care unit on a ventilator.

“It’s not a tall tale. I see that this disease kills, and strong immunity wouldn’t be enough — only a vaccine can offer protection,” said Melnik, 42, as he waited in Kyiv to get his shot. “I’m really scared and I’m pleading with doctors to help me correct my mistake.”

Ukraine is suffering through a surge in coronavirus infections, along with other parts of Eastern Europe and Russia. While vaccines are plentiful, there is a widespread reluctance to get them in many countries — though notable exceptions include the Baltic nations, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Hungary.

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