ST. PETERSBURG, June 2. /TASS/. There is no need in vaccinating the entire population against the novel coronavirus as only high-risk groups are most vulnerable to it, Alexander Semyonov, a deputy director of the St. Petersburg-based Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, said on Tuesday.
"As far as we understand, coronavirus is a life-threatening infection for certain groups of the population, the so-called high-risk groups. These are elderly people, patients with chronic cardiovascular diseases, diseases of the endocrine system - diabetes, hypertonia, chronic lung diseases. I don’t think each and every person will be inoculated against the coronavirus infection. High-risk groups are to be vaccine first," he said at a news conference at TASS.
According to Semyonov, compulsory vaccination is needed when all population groups are equally exposed to an infection and there is no efficient medicine against it. "For instance, black smallpox, which has been exterminated and vaccination was stopped. But vaccination against it was compulsory in the past. You are vaccinated against hepatitis B, against tuberculosis. Lots of people died of tuberculosis in the not-so-distant past, regardless of their social status," he noted.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 6,383,800 people have been infected worldwide and more than 377,700 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 2,920,880 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, a total of 423,741 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 186,985 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 5,037 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.