Sputnik jab proves ineffective against resistant Russians

MOSCOW: Some call it “experimental”, some don’t trust the government, some even buy fake certificates- as their country sees a record coronavirus surge, Russians are proving stubbornly resistant to the country’s Sputnik V vaccine. Russia is among the countries worst-hit by the Covid pandemic and a devastating wave this autumn has seen infections and deaths reach new records, with more than 1,000 fatalities per day. But while the country has several locally produced vaccines including Sputnik V, only about a third of its population has been inoculated. With global coronavirus fatalities soon set to top five million, the scepticism of Russians underlines the difficulties that remain in the global fight against Covid.

Sputnik V was announced with great fanfare last year by President Vladimir Putin as the first registered coronavirus vaccine and is freely available at clinics and vaccination centres across the country.

Meant as a showcase for Russian science that would quickly turn the page on the pandemic in the country, it has failed to win over the public, with polls showing fewer than half of people planning to get vaccinated.

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