More Russians Say They Will Get COVID-19 Vaccine as Roll Out Speeds Up


Just days after President Vladimir Putin ordered the start of a mass immunization campaign, a new poll found that while many Russians are eager to get the coronavirus shot, almost half still have reservations about inoculation, RT reported.

A survey of 1,600 Russian workers conducted by the Moscow-based SuperJob agency found that 30 percent of respondents were “definitely” or “likely” to be ready to roll up their sleeves for the injection. However, two in five of those sampled said that they “definitely” didn’t want to at present, and a further one in five were doubtful. Men were more likely to say they would sign up for it than women, with close to half saying they were likely to make that decision.

According to the research team, lack of information and a desire to see what options are made available in the future were common reasons for reluctance over the vaccine. Additionally, they cite ambiguity over whether those who have already had the virus and recovered stand to benefit from inoculation.

The name recognition for the Sputnik V jab, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, made it the preferred option for those who said they wanted to be immunized. More than twice as many people said they would prefer that formula over EpiVacCorona, a vaccine developed in Novosibirsk and still undergoing clinical trials. Almost a third said the type of vaccine was unimportant to them.

While these figures present a problem for public health authorities, they appear to compare favorably with previous surveys. At the end of December last year, the independent Levada Center pollster reported that around 58 percent of Russians expressed fears over the vaccine and said they wouldn’t line up to receive it.

A number of countries across the world have struggled to build trust in national immunization programs, with the rise in popularity of the ‘anti-vaxx’ movement. While figures vary from poll to poll, one recent study in the US found that only around half of Americans wanted to receive the shot. In France, only 40 percent said that they would in an equivalent survey. Chinese people, by contrast, were far more eager, with 80 percent saying they were keen for the injection.