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Experts say Russia can achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 by year-end

Specialist in infectious diseases Yevgeny Timakov believes that the achievement of herd immunity in Russia is delayed because of citizens’ refusal to get vaccinated

MOSCOW, July 31. /TASS/. Russia can achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 by the end of the year taking into account vaccination rates and asymptomatic cases, the experts interviewed by TASS said.

According to immunologist Vladislav Zhemchugov, Russia can achieve herd immunity earlier than forecasts based on official statistics on infections and vaccinations show. "Most of the forecasts do not take into account the immunity developed by those who had COVID-19 without knowing that, and there are quite a few of them," he explained.

The expert noted that, according to his estimates, Moscow residents were expected to achieve herd immunity by July, but coronavirus mutations had an adverse effect on the situation.

"Now I expect that, if there are no new mutations that block vaccines’ protective effect, everything should be over by the end of the year," Zhemchugov said.

For his part, specialist in infectious diseases Yevgeny Timakov believes that the achievement of herd immunity in Russia is delayed because of citizens’ refusal to get vaccinated.

"We will not be able to achieve herd immunity without vaccination. Considering the current vaccination rates, it would be good, if we achieved herd immunity by the end of this year. Almost 50% of residents do not want to be vaccinated and do not plan to do that, so it will be difficult to achieve herd immunity now," he explained.