Nationwide expansion of pneumococcal vaccine launched

Moscow: Russia’s daily death toll from COVID-19 has exceeded 1,000 for the first time as the country faces a sustained wave of rising infections.

The national coronavirus task force on Saturday reported 1,002 deaths in the previous day, up from 999 on Friday, along with 33,208 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, more than 1,000 higher than the day before.

Although the record for daily COVID-19 deaths in Russia has been repeatedly broken over the past few weeks, the Russian government is reluctant to toughen restrictions.

Authorities have tried to speed up the pace of vaccination with lotteries, bonuses and other incentives, but widespread vaccine scepticism and conflicting signals from officials stymied the efforts.

The government said this week that about 43 million Russians, or about 29% of the country’s nearly 146 million people, are fully vaccinated.

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