Russians’ distrust of authorities and skepticism of doctors — going back to Soviet times — helps explain the country’s vaccine reticence. Others blame anti-vaccine activists and rampant disinformation on social media.
Three days later he fell ill with the coronavirus and wound up in intensive care in Yekaterinburg, in Russia’s Urals region. The 47-year-old resident — who was not vaccinated — watched other patients dying, thinking he was next.
Russia’s catastrophic “fourth wave” is a cautionary tale for a failing vaccination campaign, showing the difficulties in correcting course after the government’s confused, on-off messaging about covid-19.
Russia’s pandemic measures began with a strict lockdown in early 2020 and dropped before a crucial July 2020 vote on constitutional changes. This summer, Moscow brought in QR codes to prove vaccine status to enter bars, restaurants and cafes, but the unpopular measure was abandoned after a few weeks.
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