Demand for Russia’s Sputnik-5 Vaccine Exceeds Supply Abroad and at Home
(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, March 15, 2021)
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says demand for the Russian vaccine far exceeds supply in foreign countries, a measure of Moscow’s success. But the same situation holds in many parts of Russia where there is now not enough vaccine to meet domestic demand (echo.msk.ru/news/2805390-echo.html, echo.msk.ru/news/2805428-echo.html and twitter.com/sadomowski/status/1371356738725629952).
The Russian authorities registered 9437 new cases of infection and 404 new coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, continuing the generally downward trend of recent days, even as spikes in some places forced officials to shutter schools and extend restrictions on public activities (zona.media/chronicle/covid-march#40248, regnum.ru/news/society/3210111.html and regnum.ru/news/3214902.html).
Officials in St. Petersburg, one of the places experiencing both a spike in infections and a shortage of vaccine, encouraged residents to get vaccinated if they can so as to prepare the city for future sporting events and other public activities lest the latter have to be postponed or cancelled (regnum.ru/news/3215545.html).
In Russian-occupied Crimea, officials suspended restrictions to allow for public demonstrations on the seventh anniversary of the Anschluss (regnum.ru/news/3215468.html).
Moscow announced that it has reached agreements with companies in Italy, Spain, France and Germany to produce the Sputnik-5 vaccine on licensing, even as the defense ministry reported that 30,000 uniformed personnel in the Strategic Rocket forces have now received the vaccine (regnum.ru/news/3215510.html and regnum.ru/news/3214699.html).
Meanwhile, Moscow announced that Russian firms have developed a new test that for the first time will allow doctors to determine with precision the amount of coronavirus in any individual (versia.ru/za-poslednie-sutki-v-rossii-vyyavleno-9437-novyx-sluchaev-zarazheniya-covid-19-i-404-letalnyx-isxoda).
On the economic front, economists say the Russian economy will not come back this year across the board but advance in some regions and sectors while continuing to decline in others even if prices for oil remain high (regnum.ru/news/3215482.html and regnum.ru/news/3215393.html).
And the Russian economy has a long way to climb back. New figures show that the earnings of medium and large enterprises in the country fell by 23.5 percent over the course of the pandemic year of 2020 (regnum.ru/news/3215134.html).
[article also appeared at windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2021/03/demand-for-russias-sputnik-5-vaccine.html]