Russia lags behind others in its COVID-19 vaccination drive

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A Russian medical worker prepares a shot of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine as people wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus queue to get a shot of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in a mobile vaccination center in Simferopol, Crimea, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Alexander Dragan, a data analyst who has been tracking vaccination in the Russian regions, says Russia is currently vaccinating 200,000-205,000 people a day. In order to immunize 30 million people by mid-June, it needs to be nearly double that: “We need to start vaccinating 370,000 people a day, like, beginning tomorrow,” Dragan told the AP. (AP Photo/Alexander Polegenko)

MOSCOW (AP) – Russia boasted last year of being the first country to authorize a coronavirus vaccine.

But almost five months into its immunization campaign, Russia is lagging behind many nations in getting its population vaccinated.

Through April 27, only about 12.1 million people have gotten at least one shot and only 7.7 million, or 5%, have been fully vaccinated.

That puts Russia far behind the U.S., where 43% have gotten at least one shot, and the European Union with nearly 27%.

The numbers cast doubt on whether Russia can achieve its ambitious goal of vaccinating more than 30 million people by mid-June and 69 million by August.

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