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Nov 2, 2021
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Will vaccine separatism ruin Russia?

Will vaccine separatism ruin Russia?

Photo: AP / TACC

In the Leningrad Region, visitors with QR codes of imported COVID-19 vaccinations will be admitted to museums and theaters. This was reported by the media with reference to the official telegram channel of the local administration. Thus, the region became the first in Russia, where inoculation with a foreign vaccine was actually equated with vaccination with a Russian drug.

“The issue has been agreed today [губернатором] Alexander Drozdenko and the chief sanitary doctor for the Leningrad region Olga Historian at the weekly staff meeting, ”the message said. After the denial in the media, the mention of the sanitary doctor disappeared from the text. “How can foreign vaccines be recognized in the Leningrad Region? – Olga Historian was indignant.

The officials immediately repented. “The Leningrad region in no way recognized [иностранные вакцины и коды]… We are a constituent entity of the federation and we cannot recognize anything, this is a federal policy, “the deputy chairman of the regional government justified. Vladimir Tsoi… This is an isolated case. A group of tourists inoculated with a foreign vaccine arrived in the region and they were allowed to visit museums.

That is, the local authorities confirmed that they had not coordinated their decision with the anti-epidemic services. A strange decision. This is how precedents are created. What was impossible yesterday suddenly becomes possible today. This means that the practice of permitting something without taking into account the opinion of Rospotrebnadzor can be expanded and extended to other areas. The question is political.

The independent decision of Leningrad officials happened on the day of publication by the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev article “Six lessons of one pandemic.” “Now the geopolitical interests of states collide even in matters of vaccination,” he said. The need for mutual recognition of vaccines spoke at the G20 summit and Vladimir Putin

– The action of the Leningrad bosses is rather discouraging than anti-legal, – explained GDirector of the Institute of Regional Problems Dmitry Zhuravlev

– By presidential decree, the regions have already been given the right to determine the boundaries of the necessary measures. True, not to governments, but to governors. If the authorities of the Leningrad region announced that Russians with QR codes and foreigners could be allowed into museums – period, then they would not be able to make claims. They have a right. It’s a question of formulation. Their mistake is in the recognition of foreign QR codes, and hence foreign vaccines. This is, of course, a matter for the federal center. That is, officials have moved from the area of ​​restrictions (their prerogatives) to the area of ​​vaccine recognition (the prerogative of the center).

“SP”: – If each region begins to go beyond its powers …

– It is clear why this “wise” decision appeared. I really want the budget not to “fall”. But that is precisely why the regions were given the right to determine the bans themselves. So that they themselves think where they have the border between security and budget. You can close everything, then, probably, no one will get sick, but everyone will die of hunger. And you can open everything, then, probably, no one will die of hunger, but there is a danger that everyone will die of illness. The governor is obliged to look for a balance point. And while he is looking for it, this is not a question of separatism, but a question of the governor’s relationship with local business.

Now, if the federal center, Russia, determined the bans, and the regions, not happy with them, began to cancel them, then the threat of separatist sentiments would not be empty. But that is precisely why from the very beginning, from the first wave of the pandemic, relations were built in such a way that the responsibility for the prohibitions was borne not by the federation, but by the regions. No wonder the recent proposal for federal bans (morbidity and mortality became unprecedented and the Ministry of Health lost its nerves) was not supported by either the president or the government. No prohibitions – no political contradiction.

– How can foreign vaccines be recognized in a given region? – surprised Director of the Moscow Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology named after G. N. Gabrichevsky “, D. b. n. Svetlana Kombarova

– But in principle, it is necessary to recognize inoculations with foreign vaccines in Russia. And also register them in our country. But these must necessarily be vaccines with proven efficacy, so that we can be confident that they have passed all stages of clinical trials and there are no terrible side effects. The wrong mechanism can ruin everything.

“SP”: – Do the Russians need foreign vaccines so much?

– Our society is quite heterogeneous. And if high-quality foreign vaccines were available to us, then many Russians who travel a lot would be vaccinated with them. Seeing that we do not necessarily impose domestic vaccines, people would be more willing to be vaccinated with our drugs. This step probably contributes to the recognition of Russian vaccines abroad.

She spoke about the possibility of using foreign vaccines in Russia immunologist Irina Yartseva

– Russia has excellent own vaccines. Sputnik V is a vector vaccine, and they have been studied for a long time. And the Sputnik V vector itself was tested on the Ebola virus vaccine. So foreign vaccines are no better than Sputnik V. They are needed only by those who travel a lot abroad. Let them have the right to choose. I know of a case of Phaser vaccination after Sputnik V.

“SP”: – There are people demanding from the authorities to allow foreign vaccines to enter Russia. They say they don’t trust our vaccine. We, however, do not really trust foreign drugs either. Look, there is a whole scandal in the Leningrad region because of this …

– I think these are excuses. Give such people “Modern” or “Faizer” … And, of course, they should not be provided with foreign vaccines for free. Only for money. And only ours is free. Let them choose. If a person is vaccinated with a foreign vaccine, this must be admitted. There is no need to repeat the stupidity of the West. We are doctors, we admit. But we are not deciding this question.

Political scientist Dmitry Elovsky indicates that the issue of vaccine acceptance is political and therefore requires a symmetrical approach.

– We are told to recognize foreign vaccines. Well, were our vaccines recognized there? We are ready to respect their tourists, to recognize foreign vaccinations, but we are also worried about our tourists, about the Russians. Can they go somewhere?

Our citizens should be on an equal footing compared to citizens of other countries. If we recognize everything unilaterally, then Russians will have a lot of reasonable questions to the country’s political leadership about the inequality of their rights with foreigners.

In Russia, people for the most part have an imperial mindset. It is important for them that the parity of interests and rights is respected. Therefore, it is logical that the movement towards the recognition of foreign vaccines would be synchronized with the movement towards the recognition of our drugs.

“SP”: – Putin and Medvedev make verbal interventions on the mutual recognition of vaccines …

“This looks like a sign that our vaccines are gradually being recognized by other states. Then we can calmly meet halfway and this will be an equal state. It is important for the political leadership to maintain a balance: not to lose foreign markets and not to diminish national dignity. While the balance is being held.

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