Clinics in Moscow now offering Sputnik M vaccines to 12-17s

Jan 31, 2022, 5:58 AM | Updated: 8:44 pm

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian capital on Monday has started offering a domestically developed coronavirus vaccine to children in the 12-17 age group amid the country’s biggest infection surge yet due to the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant.

Omicron is less likely to cause severe illness than the previous delta variant, according to studies. Omicron spreads even more easily than other coronavirus strains, and has already become dominant in many countries. It also more easily infects those who have been vaccinated or had previously been infected by prior versions of the virus.

Free shots of Sputnik M — a version of the Sputnik V vaccine that contains a smaller dose — became available last week to 12-17s in a number of Russian regions spanning from the region surrounding Moscow to the Urals to Siberia and the far east, with the capital being the latest addition to the list.

Moscow now has 13 clinics offering the vaccine to 12-17s, city authorities said.

Immunization of children in Russia comes as the country is facing a record-breaking surge of contagions, with health officials reporting six-figure tallies of new confirmed cases for three straight days. On Monday, the state coronavirus task force counted 124,070 new infections, another all-time high in the pandemic for Russia. The previous record, of 121,228, was reported the day before. Officials also reported 621 new deaths on Monday.

Despite the latest surge, the Russian authorities have resisted imposing any major restrictions. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated to reporters on Monday that there were no discussions of a nationwide lockdown.

Such a lockdown was imposed in Russia only once, in the spring of 2020, and lasted six weeks. In October 2021, many Russians were also ordered to stay off work for a week. But generally the government has steered clear of shutting down businesses.

Earlier this month, the country’s parliament indefinitely postponed introducing new restrictions for the unvaccinated, plans that proved unpopular among vaccine-hesitant Russians. Only about half of the country’s 146-million population is fully vaccinated, even though Russia was among the first nations in the world to approve and roll out a domestically developed shot.

Officials in Moscow and St. Petersburg sounded the alarm last week about coronavirus infections spiking among children and teenagers. Authorities in the Russian capital said Monday they were increasing the number of hospital beds for children with COVID-19.

The governor of St. Petersburg, Alexander Beglov, on Monday ordered school students from grades 7 to 11 to switch to remote learning starting from Wednesday and until Feb. 13. He also barred all minors from restaurants and cafes, shops selling nonessential goods, museums, theaters, cinemas, zoos, gyms, swimming pools and other recreational venues.

Russia’s state coronavirus task force reported a total of 11.8 million confirmed cases in the pandemic and 331,349 deaths — by far the highest death toll in Europe. However, reports by Russia’s state statistics service Rosstat, which uses wider criteria for counting virus-linked deaths, revealed much higher numbers.

Rosstat’s latest update, released on Friday, showed that some 681,100 people with COVID-19 died between April 2020 and December 2021. The number of COVID-related deaths in 2021 — 517,800 — was more than three times higher than in 2020 — 163,300. The tally includes deaths in which COVID-19 wasn’t considered the main cause.

Peskov on Monday called the numbers reported by Rosstat “very, very sad” and urged Russians to get vaccinated.

“It is the only thing that can help us curb the number of the deaths from the coronavirus,” Peskov said.

___

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

People stand on the destroyed bridge to Pine Island as they view the damage in the aftermath of Hur...
Associated Press

In Hurricane Ian’s wake, dangers persist, worsen in parts

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — People kayaking down streets that were passable just a day or two earlier. Hundreds of thousands without power. National Guard helicopters flying rescue missions to residents still stranded on Florida’s barrier islands. Days after Hurricane Ian carved a path of destruction from Florida to the Carolinas, the dangers persisted, and […]
22 hours ago
Khadidah Stone stands on the dividing line between her old Alabama congressional District 7, to her...
Associated Press

Black representation in Alabama tested before Supreme Court

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The invisible line dividing two of Alabama’s congressional districts slices through Montgomery, near iconic sites from the civil rights movement as well as ones more personal to Evan Milligan. There’s the house where his grandfather loaded people into his station wagon and drove them to their jobs during the Montgomery Bus […]
22 hours ago
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is running for another term, gestures during a press confer...
Associated Press

Brazil’s Bolsonaro and the right outperform, defying polls

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s election provided the world yet another example of polls missing the mark, with incumbent Jair Bolsonaro considerably outperforming expectations to prove the far-right wave he rode to the presidency remains a force. The most-trusted opinion polls had indicated leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was far out […]
22 hours ago
The cargo ship Laodicea sails through the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 7, 2022. An...
Associated Press

Russia smuggling Ukrainian grain to help pay for Putin’s war

BEIRUT (AP) — When the bulk cargo ship Laodicea docked in Lebanon last summer, Ukrainian diplomats said the vessel was carrying grain stolen by Russia and urged Lebanese officials to impound the ship. Moscow called the allegation “false and baseless,” and Lebanon’s prosecutor general sided with the Kremlin and declared that the 10,000 tons of […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Members of the Oath Keepers stand on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in ...
Associated Press

Jurors to begin hearing Jan. 6 Oath Keepers sedition case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors will lay out their case against the founder of the Oath Keepers extremist group and four associates charged in the most serious case to reach trial yet in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol attack. Opening statements are expected Monday in Washington’s federal court in the trial of Stewart Rhodes […]
22 hours ago
FILE - The U.S. Supreme Court is seen, March 18, 2022 in Washington. The Supreme Court opens its ne...
Associated Press

Supreme Court welcomes the public again, and a new justice

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is beginning its new term, welcoming the public back to the courtroom and hearing arguments for the first time since issuing a landmark ruling stripping away women’s constitutional protections for abortion. Monday’s session also is the first time new Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the court’s first Black female justice, […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Clinics in Moscow now offering Sputnik M vaccines to 12-17s