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Immunity to vaccination

Neither the available administrative resources, nor even promises to pay for an injection given, help local authorities to accelerate vaccination of the population.

Vaccination against coronavirus, which should become the main salvation and shield against the pandemic, in the Far East, as in other parts of Russia, is barely moving. In the regions of the Far Eastern Federal District, they are trying with all their might to stretch the vaccination rates, but they are far from target values. True, if we compare it with the national average, and the data of the Ministry of Health show that as of June 6, 9% of the population was vaccinated in Russia, then the Far East looks good - 12,44% of local residents were vaccinated here. The EastRussia editors found out how Far Eastern officials are trying to motivate the population to immunize against COVID-19, what they do, what the population thinks and why.

Immunity to vaccination
Photo: press service of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Buryatia

Pay off the vaccinated!

The flagship vaccination against coronavirus in the Far Eastern Federal District is Chukotka. At first glance, the figures are optimistic - half of the planned share of the population has already been vaccinated, but this is only 12 801 people. In terms of all residents of the district, it turns out that 25% received the vaccine. True, a certain discount must still be made for the small number of the local population, of which there are a total of 49527 souls. At the end of April, elderly people were promised 2 thousand rubles if they get vaccinated.

Sakhalin Region has perhaps more reason to be considered the leader of the vaccination campaign. The island region became the first in the Far East, where a batch of Sputnik V was brought - the first injections were delivered back in December 2020, and Governor Valery Limarenko was completely vaccinated in the summer, as part of an experimental group. Until now, Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands have a relatively high immunization rate per 100 thousand people: the region is second only to the federal centers. According to the latest data - as of June 5, 2021, 78 people were vaccinated on the islands - this is 260 percent of the population. Another 16 thousand people signed up for vaccinations, and the local government's plan is to vaccinate 43 thousand by September. Every day from 180 to a thousand Sakhalin residents receive the vaccine, but the regional health ministry is not satisfied.

“I would very much like me to come and say: we cannot cope with the number of people who want to be vaccinated, we use additional resources, remove students from classes, do some other things. So far, we are more than calmly dealing with this thousand. We can vaccinate up to three thousand people a day, taking into account our capabilities today, "- said the Minister of Health of the Sakhalin Region Vladimir Kuznetsov at the next" anti-coronavirus "press briefing.

There are also problems with the appointment for vaccination in the Amur Region... According to local doctors, residents of the region are extremely reluctant to get vaccinated. Every day, treatment rooms “write off” dozens of coupons as unclaimed. The passivity of Amur residents is also noted at mobile vaccination points. Nevertheless, as of June 4, 2021, 106 (000%) residents of the region were vaccinated with the first component, and slightly more than 13,5 (86%) with the second.

“When there are no interruptions in the supply of vaccines, when educational work has been established, when there is every opportunity to protect your body from a deadly infection free of charge, it is up to the person. And if people do not want to be vaccinated for their personal convictions, we will not be able to dissuade or force them. If a person does not want, he will not come. At our vaccination points, which are located in shopping centers in Blagoveshchensk, the flow is stable, but extremely low: we vaccinate from 14 to 20 people per day, which is 60-100 citizens in total. This is very little: we can increase the capacity to 400-500 people a day, there is a drug, but people do not want to go. At such a rate of vaccination, we will walk in masks for another year, "the doctors of GAUZ JSC" City Polyclinic No. 1 of the city of Blagoveshchensk "(Amur Region) report to Eastrussia.

A comparable result shows Transbaikalia - out of more than a million inhabitants, 135 107 (12%) received both injections, the first - 167 635 (15%).

In the Khabarovsk Territory the number of vaccinated citizens reached 122 thousand people (as of June 500, 5) - less than 2021 percent of the population (10 million citizens live in the region). The local Ministry of Health is trying to increase the pace of vaccination through the work of field teams and advertising of all kinds of bonuses: before Easter, pensioners were given a dozen eggs for vaccination against coronavirus, and on the eve of Victory Day, the population was offered a discount on cafes and tickets to sports events, as well as free admission to swimming pools and gyms.

The situation is no better, and even a little worse in Primorye - 1 people were vaccinated there for 877 million 160 thousand inhabitants (as of June 209, 5) - this is only 2021%. In this region, they are trying to increase the rates with the help of mobile vaccination points: in Vladivostok alone, there are 8,5 of them, including a point on Russky Island. Each tent accommodates up to 12 people daily. And, judging by the estimates of the residents of the seaside capital, it is much easier to get a graft in a shopping center in passing than in a medical institution.

“In the clinic, I tried to get vaccinated three times, all three times I took a coupon for a strictly defined time. For the first time, it turned out that there were two lines to the treatment room: with coupons and "live", and they passed each other through one. The second time it turned out that someone else got my ticket, because of a failure in the system, two of them were recorded for the same time. The third time, after waiting more than an hour after my actual appointment time, I never got to the shot, turned around and left. I got an injection in Kalina Mall in 15 minutes, ”recalls Vladivostok resident Alexei Tikhonov.

In Buryatia amid low vaccination rates, the third wave of coronavirus is gaining momentum. Due to a sharp increase in the number of cases in the region, they even canceled medical examinations and medical examinations, the number of seats was again reduced at sports events, and inspectors took to the streets of cities in search of violations of the sanitary regime. Governor Alexei Tsydenov has already approved a new list of restrictions.

But even the next wave of the disease does not motivate Buryats to vaccinate: 985,5 thousand people live in the region, and only 89 thousand have received the vaccine in full - a little less than nine percent of the population.

 “I do not belong to the risk group: I am 42 years old, there are no chronic diseases. In the last five or six years, I just stopped believing in vaccines and their work. And it seems to me that it makes no sense to talk about how the vaccine protects against coronavirus: a new drug, there are no long-term trials, many have a serious side effect. All my acquaintances who were vaccinated, then suffered at home: some have a temperature, others are suffocating. Questionable defense. And I may be selfish, but I will count on herd immunity. But I don’t want to test my health, ”explained Tatiana Makhanova, a Buryat journalist.


Compulsion to health

In any of the regions (and the Far East is no exception!), When inviting the population for vaccination, officials emphasize that vaccination is a purely voluntary matter. And even the need to work in a high-risk area, to which, in particular, teachers are related, cannot force a person to undergo immunization. IN Magadan region (19 thousand vaccinated) were ready to pay a thousand rubles to those elderly over 60 years old who gave the injection. At the enterprises of the Amur Region, bonuses were issued (from 3 to 5 thousand after two components of the vaccine), it was already mentioned above about eggs and discounts in the Khabarovsk Territory. But the authorities went farthest Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) - On May 25, they announced the mandatory vaccination against coronavirus.

The decree was signed by the head of the Yakut Rospotrebnadzor Margarita Ignatieva - the sanitary doctor indicated that at least 70 percent of the adult population should be vaccinated in the republic, and that enterprises that do not provide vaccination of employees will pay heavy fines. It is curious that on May 19, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev spoke about compulsory vaccinations in the interests of the state - but not so radically, saying that such a decision could be made in exceptional cases. In Yakutia, judging by recent statistics, this picture is still far away, but be that as it may, with a population of 982 thousand people, 120 708 people were vaccinated - this is 12 percent of the region's residents.

 Soon the government of Yakutia issued an official clarification on the "compulsory" immunization. As it turned out, no one will forcibly vaccinate people. But for some organizations, the vaccination campaign is mandatory, and the employer has the right to prevent an employee from working without a vaccine. We are talking about 12 areas of activity that are associated with a high risk of disease - these are, in particular, construction work, geological exploration and logging, agricultural work, educational activities and medicine. It is difficult to predict what the mandatory vaccination could turn out to be. In the Sakhalin region, a similar case in one of the district schools provoked a scandal throughout the region. But then it was only about the personal initiative of the director, who decided to promptly vaccinate all teachers and issued a frightening order, which turned out to be unauthorized.


In late May - early June, the Far East accepts supplies of another registered coronavirus vaccine. KoviVac became the third drug after Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona to be mass-produced. This gave the population a certain choice, and soon patients will have the opportunity to choose the one-component "Sputnik Light" - the fourth option for vaccination. But even the variety of drugs does not motivate the Far East to undergo immunization promptly. In the Kamchatka Territory now only 27 thousand people out of 312 thousand of the population are vaccinated - 8,5%,

In the Jewish Autonomous Region, the first vaccination cycle was completed 14,5 thousand people received two components and completed vaccination - more than 11 thousand residents of the region, this gives only 7% of fully vaccinated, and slightly more than nine, of those who received the first injection.

Shades of rejection

The results of the vaccination campaign against coronavirus, but already on a federal scale, were reported by analysts of the recruiting portal Superjob, having interviewed applicants across the country. About 42 percent of Russians, according to a survey of personnel officers, in principle are not going to get vaccinated. At the same time, the majority of those who refuse immunization are a group of qualified specialists aged 35 to 44 years. 20 percent of the population agree to give an injection if they are not allowed to go abroad without it, and only 18 percent are ready to be vaccinated at will and without conditions.

Interview Levada Center* in early May showed that 62 percent of Russians were not ready to be vaccinated with the domestic vaccine Sputnik V, 26 percent agreed to it. At the same time, the drug was more popular among Russians who were afraid of contracting coronavirus due to work in certain areas, as well as among the older generation. Among the so-called refuseniks, a significant proportion (75 percent or three quarters of the respondents) are young people between the ages of 18 and 35. In addition, among citizens who are not at all afraid of catching COVID-19, the share of anti-vaccinations was 70 percent.

Khabarovsk psychologist Daniil Avdeev named the probable psychological reasons that can prompt a person to refuse vaccination. According to him, in this situation, we can talk about several factors, because of which people do not want to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

 “One of the reasons, it seems to me, is the extensive propaganda. Since the days of the USSR, it has become a tradition in our country: if something is being promoted everywhere, then it is not a very good thing. If the authorities impose it, it must be something bad and unpleasant, because a good product sells itself. It is clear that there is little logic in this, this is a counterproductive feeling, but people are so used to not trusting the authorities and large companies. In addition, the coronavirus infection itself causes a lot of mistrust. A lot of people believe that this is fiction and not true, COVID-19 does not exist, these are all 5G towers and so on. People deny the very fact of the disease and believe that therefore there is no need to defend against it. And the same propaganda played a role in this: while the most severe quarantine was introduced all over the world, in Russia, on the contrary, they were glad that they managed to avoid lockdowns and harsh measures. We survived easily - and well, so there is nothing to be afraid of, "- explained Eastrussia Daniil Avdeev.

The expert also believes that the likely reason may be the negative background of Russians after the introduction of quarantine measures throughout the country.

“The coronavirus came to us (in the Khabarovsk Territory. - Ed.) Rather late, closer to autumn. Then a high increase in the incidence began. And quarantine measures were introduced in the spring - then business was seriously damaged, people were sitting at home, problems with school education at a distance made themselves felt. In general, people were alarmed and annoyed. And in fact, these measures have led nowhere. When the epidemic began, people were already so tired of isolation that they did not want to return to quarantine. After all, it was impossible to just hush everything up and pretend that nothing was happening. Since unpleasant thoughts and memories are displaced by the psyche, people often simply cannot explain the refusal of vaccination. It seems to me that very few people can reasonably formulate the refusal of vaccination, there is simply a feeling “I don’t want to”. And when they are asked head-on about this, the search for reasons begins - that the vaccine has not been tested, that the disease is not dangerous, and so on. Because, in fact, people hardly think about it seriously and, most likely, do not weigh all the risks, ”the expert summed up.

Analysts link the massive refusals to vaccinate, not least of all, with a weak and ill-conceived PR campaign waged by the authorities in Russia as a whole and in the regions. Key officials for the most part were in no hurry to get vaccinated, and the inhabitants naturally concluded that this procedure was not necessary. At the same time, information aimed at forming a persistent refusal to give the injection among citizens was disseminated in social networks with a geometric progression. Messengers and popular services are still full of publications about conspiracy theories, chipping and secret testing of illegal drugs, which in fact is supposedly a vaccination against coronavirus.

Medical disinformation is being actively spread for money: in the summer and autumn of last year, former participants in the scandalous television project Dom-2 posted video posts about the harm of Sputnik V almost simultaneously. Later, fragments of correspondence with one of the bloggers leaked to the open spaces of the network - she received a large sum, informing her followers that the Russian vaccines against coronavirus are nothing more than the latest tracking chips.

“Do you understand that not everything is so simple ?! That there is a global intimidation of people with a virus, in order to then vaccinate everyone and install the chips! " - Victoria Bonya, a former participant of the reality show "Dom-2", said in her Instagram account.

A year later, the ex-star of the show, by the way, retracted her statements. Perhaps the blogger was simply afraid of punishment: in Russia, such messages were recognized as fakes, and for their dissemination you can get serious punishment, from a fine to imprisonment.

The current situation with vaccinations and poor motivation of the population means that Russia and the Far East will not be able to return to a regime of life without restrictions anytime soon. At the current rate of vaccination, it will take a year at best to form an immune layer, for which 50 to 70 percent of citizens need to be vaccinated. And a new autumn is just around the corner and, quite realistically, another wave of infection. To get sick means also to get antibodies, only for 123 787 Russians (data from the portal as of June 6, 2021) it ended fatally. BUT June study The Levada Center * says that 52% of our fellow citizens are not afraid of getting sick.

* The organization is included by the Ministry of Justice in the list of NPOs performing the function of a foreign agent

September 21: current information on coronavirus in the Far East
Digest of regional events and latest statistics