Clinics in Moscow now offering Sputnik M vaccines to 12-17s

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Moscow, Jan. 31 (BNA): The Russian capital on Monday has started offering a domestically developed coronavirus vaccine to children in the 12-17 age group amid the country’s biggest infection surge yet due to the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant.

 

Omicron is less likely to cause severe illness than the previous delta variant, according to studies, reports AP.

 

Omicron spreads even more easily than other coronavirus strains, and has already become dominant in many countries. It also more easily infects those who have been vaccinated or had previously been infected by prior versions of the virus.

 

Free shots of Sputnik M — a version of the Sputnik V vaccine that contains a smaller dose — became available last week to 12-17s in a number of Russian regions spanning from the region surrounding Moscow to the Urals to Siberia and the far east, with the capital being the latest addition to the list.

 

Moscow now has 13 clinics offering the vaccine to 12-17s, city authorities said.

 

Immunization of children in Russia comes as the country is facing a record-breaking surge of contagions, with health officials reporting six-figure tallies of new confirmed cases for three straight days.

 

 On Monday, the state coronavirus task force counted 124,070 new infections, another all-time high in the pandemic for Russia. The previous record, of 121,228, was reported the day before. Officials also reported 621 new deaths on Monday.

 

Despite the latest surge, the Russian authorities have resisted imposing any major restrictions. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated to reporters on Monday that there were no discussions of a nationwide lockdown.

 

Such a lockdown was imposed in Russia only once, in the spring of 2020, and lasted six weeks. In October 2021, many Russians were also ordered to stay off work for a week. But generally the government has steered clear of shutting down businesses.

 


AHN