The decision of several Russian regions on introducing obligatory COVID-19 vaccination for certain groups of citizens is a step in the right direction, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio station on Thursday.
“Considering the situation, this absolutely is [a step] in the right [direction]. This is my personal opinion,” he said, answering a corresponding question.
The spokesman added that he fully supports the recommendation of universities in Moscow and the Moscow Region to only allow vaccinated students, students with antibodies and those with confirmed contraindications to attend classes in person.
“The principle of vaccination not being obligatory generally remains, but we are not very active in getting vaccinated,” Peskov said. “Not because there are no conditions for it, we’ve established all the conditions: we’ve got a great vaccine, we have the vaccination infrastructure considering our widespread geography. But we fail to do it to the necessary extent. So I consider such emergency measures absolutely necessary and justified”.
The government of Moscow and the Moscow Region were the first in Russia to introduce obligatory vaccination against COVID-19 for certain groups of citizens. Regional chief sanitary doctors published the corresponding orders on Wednesday. The Kemerovo Region and the Sakhalin Region followed in their footsteps, also declaring obligatory vaccination of certain population groups.