“I’m strongly asking you to switch off social networks and switch on your brains,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Ukrainians. “The only way to prevent a collapse is to increase the share of vaccinated people. I’m asking regional authorities to wake up and go to bed with that thought.”

Ukraine’s president on Friday pleaded with citizens to get vaccinated quickly as daily infections soared to another all-time high, fueled by a slow vaccine uptake, AP reports.

The Health Ministry reported 26,870 new confirmed infections in 24 hours — the highest level since the start of the pandemic. It recorded 648 daily deaths to bring the pandemic death toll to 66,852.

Authorities blamed the surge in infections and deaths on a low level of vaccination. Just 16.4% percent of people in the nation of 41 million are fully vaccinated — the second-lowest rate in Europe after Armenia’s 7%.

The slow pace of vaccinations in Ukraine and other countries of Eastern Europe has been blamed on public distrust of authorities that has contributed to the broad spread of disinformation and conspiracy theories about vaccines.

“I’m strongly asking you to switch off social networks and switch on your brains,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Ukrainians. “The only way to prevent a collapse is to increase the share of vaccinated people. I’m asking regional authorities to wake up and go to bed with that thought.”

In a bid to stem contagion, Ukrainian authorities have required teachers, government employees and other workers to get fully vaccinated by Nov. 8 or face having their salary payments suspended. In addition, proof of vaccination or a negative test is now required to board planes, trains and long-distance buses.

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