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About half of Russians balking at vaccination for coronavirus, suggests survey

Only 13.2% of the surveyed plan to be vaccinated promptly, according to the poll

MOSCOW, September 11./TASS/. Almost half of the Russian nationals are not planning to be vaccinated against coronavirus for now, according to a survey by National Research University Higher School of Economics.

"In case of having symptoms of coronavirus or flu, almost one third of the population either don’t plan to seek medical assistance [9.1%] or will be doing this in case the situation gets life threatening [22.4%]. About half are coronavirus sceptics," the survey obtained by TASS said.

It indicated that 45.6% of the surveyed are not planning to get inoculated against coronavirus at all, while another 18.6% plan to wait until next year. Only 13.2% of the surveyed Russians plan to be vaccinated promptly. Another 4.6% plan vaccination in several months, while 18% hesitated to answer.

Meanwhile, the population continued to observe safety measures in summer after the lockdown had been lifted, the research said. "The population begins to realize that the virus will not disappear and they will have to live with it. However, the share of coronavirus sceptics, who don’t believe it exists or don’t see a danger in it, keeps growing," the survey reads. Most of them have no infected friends or relatives.

Almost 80% of parents of school students are against remote learning. Only a modest share of the surveyed Russians (15.8%) believe that reopening of schools and universities will trigger a second wave of the pandemic.

People blame a potential second wave on the opening of borders (45.3%) and holidays at resorts (42.65%). Another 47.55% of the polled Russian nationals believe it would be necessary to close the borders in case of a second wave, while 20% assume that we are already at the start of it.

The survey was carried out online between September 5 and 7. As many as 9,000 adults (aged between 18 and 75) from all regions took part.

On August 11, Russia was reported to have become the first country in the world to register a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, named Sputnik V. The inoculation was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry and passed clinical trials in June and July. It is based on a platform that was widely used for the development of other vaccines in the past.

To date, 1,051,874 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 868,107 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 18,365 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.