Russia, Obluchye rescuers organise strike against mandatory Covid vaccination

Russia is going through a difficult time on the Covid front: the number of deaths has never been so high, and the actual percentage of Russians vaccinated is no more than 30% of the population

Ambulance workers in the city of Obluchye are organising a mass strike against compulsory vaccination against the Coronavirus.

Russia, ambulance workers strike against mandatory Covid vaccination

A large number of ambulance workers in Obluchye, 6,000 kilometres from Moscow, are organising a mass strike against compulsory Covid vaccination.

In reality, Obluchye is not particularly relevant, either as a population or politically, in the vast Russian nation: it is a town known primarily for belonging to an independent Jewish oblast.

But the 15 ambulance workers who resigned in protest against the vaccination requirement are part of a scenario of new lockdowns and restrictions in Russia’s major cities (41,000 new infections in the last 24 hours, with 1,188 deaths), and this has shifted the local media’s magnifying glass onto them.

Covid: authorities in Russia react to Obluchye ambulance workers’ initiative

“They say they don’t want to” get the Covid-19 shot, chief doctor at Obluchye’s ambulance service told the Jewish autonomous republic’s EAOMedia news website Wednesday.

The ambulance workers were later joined by 12 colleagues from the neighboring village of Pashkovo, the region’s Nabat news outlet reported Thursday.

“We’re ready to work [but] leave us alone with these vaccines!” said ambulance worker and local Communist Party deputy Ivan Krasnoslobodtsev.

“The vaccine, as far as I know, has not yet been tested and no one knows how it will manifest itself in the future,” he was quoted as saying.

Research published in medical journal The Lancet in February showed Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine to be 91.6% effective against the original Covid-19 strain

In August, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Sputnik V is 83% effective against the Delta variant behind Russia’s fourth wave of the pandemic that has infected and killed record numbers of patients in recent weeks.

Authorities in all 85 Russian regions, including the Jewish autonomous republic where the ambulance workers quit, have in recent months ordered state and service sector workers to get the vaccine as voluntary vaccination fell short of reaching herd immunity.

According to Nabat, the 27 anti-vaccine ambulance workers were questioned by prosecutors who asked them to fill out a questionnaire about the vaccine requirements.

Russian medical outlets reported Wednesday that federal health watchdog Roszdravnadzor plans to pursue anti-vaccine medical professionals for criminal prosecution under 2020 laws that punish spreading false information about Covid with up to 5 years in prison.

Read Also:

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The Lancet: “Third Dose Efficacy At 92% Against Severe Disease”


The Moscow Times

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